(CNN) – President Barack Obama called on Congress Saturday to extend the payroll tax cut, warning a failure to do so would take away a tax break of about $1,000 for middle-class families.
"We can't let that happen," he said in his weekly address. "In fact, I think we should cut taxes on working families and small business owners even more."
Republicans and Democrats have been trying to hammer out a plan in the Senate this week to pay for the tax cut extension, but have yet to reach a compromise.
Proposed plans from both parties failed to pass the Senate Thursday night, leaving lawmakers to tackle new proposals in the coming days.
"We're going to keep pushing Congress to make this happen," Obama said. "They shouldn't go home for the holidays until they get this done."
Obama pointed listeners to the White House website, which has a calculator that estimates how the payroll tax cut would affect families, and urged people to contact their representatives in Congress.
"Tell them not to vote to raise taxes on working Americans during the holidays. Tell them to put country before party," he said. "Put money back in the pockets of working Americans. Pass these tax cuts."
Meanwhile, Republicans called on Congress this week to pass another upcoming vote in the Senate: a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.
The proposal has been a major talking point this year among conservative Republicans, who claim the amendment would help fix the nation's spiraling federal deficit and help get the economy back on its feet.
The GOP-controlled House voted on the bill last month, but the measure failed to win enough support to pass.
In this week's Republican address, however, Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine called on her colleagues in the Senate to pass the bill.
"Let's be clear. The impending vote to amend the Constitution represents a choice between changing business as usual in Washington, or embracing the status quo that we can no longer afford," she said.
Snowe argued that opponents of the amendment simply don't want to have "their hands tied" when it comes to addressing the nation's debt, which recently passed the $15 trillion mark.
"Let me suggest there are 15 trillion reasons to prove them wrong. Fifteen trillion reasons to make a stand. Fifteen trillion reasons to contact your senators and urge them to support our balanced budget amendment," she said. "So that we finally seize the fiscal reins, and reclaim our future for our children and our grandchildren."