US President Barack Obama on Saturday told Americans to keep reminding Congress of what is at stake in their lives, as he predicted change in 2012 -- the year in which he will seek reelection.
In his weekly radio and Internet address, the president also called on Congress to extend a payroll tax break for the whole year, after lawmakers agreed on a two-month continuation this month after a huge political row.
"It was good to see Members of Congress do the right thing for millions of working Americans," Obama said in the address recorded in Hawaii where he is on vacation.
"But it was only possible because you added your voices to the debate. Through email and Twitter and over the phone, you let your representatives know what was at stake. Your lives. Your families. Your well-being.
"You had the courage to believe that your voices could make a difference. And at the end of the day, they made all the difference."
Republican and Democratic leaders will reengage on the payroll tax fight and seek to agree on the terms of a year-long extension when Congress returns to work in Washington in January.
The two-month fix offered 160 million Americans an extra $40 dollars in their paychecks every two weeks and also extended unemployment insurance for two million laid-off workers.
"I expect Congress to finish the job by extending these provisions through the end of 2012," Obama said.
"There's no doubt that 2012 will bring even more change. And as we head into the New Year, I'm hopeful that we have what it takes to face that change and come out even stronger -- to grow our economy, create more jobs, and strengthen the middle class.
This video is from the White House, published Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011.