A senior White House official challenged House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to buck his own Republican conference and pass the payroll tax, jobs and unemployment insurance bills with moderate Republicans and 60 to 70 Democrats.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity and on the (unusual) condition he wouldn’t be directly quoted, said the Senate and a majority of House members could pass a longer-term deficit agreement, but only if Boehner abandons his insistence that all major bills be approved by a majority of ruling Republicans…

“That’s remarkably stupid. The fact that the White House can’t get a full-year payroll tax cut extension through the Democrat-run Senate is the Senate Democratic leadership’s fault — not John Boehner’s,” said Brendan Buck, the speaker’s press secretary. “The House was the only chamber to pass an extension of the payroll tax cut through 2012. We did it without job-killing tax increases, and we plan to again. ”