DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich says Congress's failure to extend a payroll tax cut for millions of workers is an "absurd dereliction of duty." His chief rival, Mitt Romney, declined to comment.

Gingrich especially faulted the Senate, saying its decision to adjourn without extending the tax cut for a full year is an example of why the public is sick of Washington and sick of politics.

The Democratic-controlled Senate had voted to extend the tax cut for two months. But the Republican-led House killed that bill and called for opening negotiations on a yearlong extension of the tax break.

Campaigning in New Hampshire, Romney said he wasn't going to "get into the back and forth-of-the congressional sausage-making."

The tax cut is set to expire at the end of December.