Overheard on CNN.com: Congress' lack of action sparks anger
December 20th, 2011
12:17 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Congress' lack of action sparks anger

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Congress showed little sign of resolving its partisan standoff Tuesday over the payroll tax cut extension as the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a measure expressing disapproval of a Senate plan, and leaders in the Democratic-controlled Senate insisted they won't go along with a new House proposal.

The House motion, passed in a virtual party-line 229-193 vote, called for the dispute to be immediately taken up by a House-Senate conference committee - something already ruled out by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada.

House Republicans on Tuesday passed a motion calling for further negotiations on the payroll tax cut, disagreeing with a Senate measure that called for a two-month extension. Only Republicans supported the motion in the 229-193 vote.

The Senate voted 89-10 in favor of a two-month tax-cut extension Saturday - a fallback plan designed to give both sides more time to negotiate - but that short-term compromise has slammed into a conservative roadblock in the House, where rank-and-file Republicans are fuming over the short-term nature of the plan, among other things.

As the clock ticks down, nobody appears willing to bend and neither side seems to know how to break the logjam.

The latest political drama follows what seems like a year of endless debt talks and regular episodes of near-government shutdowns, and some people are simply fed up with Congress. We take a look at the frustration with government that people are sharing on both CNN.com and around the Web.

Some users commented they felt lawmakers from both parties are to blame and they planned to hold them accountable. They said that Americans have the power to vote out incumbents if they can't get anything done to help the people of this country.

us2us: "Who do these people represent? Answer: Themselves."

marjoreemae: "It's a shame responsible people will not come together and fix what's wrong with our country. I vote not to pay these individuals. It's time we have a real voice in our government."

gadzooks: "I do hereby call for the resignation of every member of Congress."

hv19006: "I'm just not voting for any of the incumbents in the next election. They have all proved they can't get the job done, both the Senate and the House, both the Democrats and the Republicans."

Some readers were concerned about how the tax cut would affect Social Security.  Others said a two-month-extension in general would likely do little to help.

RickyV: "The tax cut is an attack on Social Security. It should become part of the GOP platform. It's time to out the hypocrisy of the Democrats who claim to help the 'little guy' while screwing them and poor families the whole time."

KarlinT: "I actually hate to say this. ... I am totally against the GOP but a two-month extension does what exactly?! They want a one-year extension. If you want the tax break, why would you not want it to last longer?"

Others said they thought the GOP was using the issue as a chance to push the the Keystone XL oil pipeline project.

ialsoagree: "Because they have only this week to pass any bill before the tax cuts expire. The Senate passed a two-month extension with every meaning to come back to the table in January to forge a one-year extension to the tax cut.

"Republicans saw this as an opportunity to continue ramming the gas pipeline down the throat of Americans. With any luck, (Senate Majority Leader Harry) Reid and the Democrats will have some backbone, stick to Reid's statement that the Senate won't negotiate further until the two-month extension is passed, and let the tax cut expire. I hate to see my own taxes go up, but come January everyone making less than 106K a year will be wondering why the party of 'no tax increases' raised their taxes."

MontanaBill: "It is not a 'tax break', it's 'I'm not funding my future Social Security' break and it has provisions for a new tax on home mortgages. Obama doesn't want the pipeline decision to have to be made until after the elections so he won't have to anger environmentalists before the vote. He will approve it, eventually. And then claim credit for the jobs."

WilliamGa: "For a worthless two-month extension, we are supposed to thank them on bent knee."

Other readers squarely put the blame on Republicans. Some criticized the GOP for staunchly standing behind the wealthiest Americans while refusing to help those in need, something they thought was selfish. Others pointed fingers at House Speaker John Boehner.

jnpa: "I don't know what the GOP is thinking they will gain from all of this, but I hope the American people will remember this next election and vote them all out!"

Effelbee: "So the House GOP leaders were afraid that it would pass the House so they decided not to bring it to a vote. How democratic. Their very rich bosses must not have let them, but the average American is silenced once again."

yranny0000: "Boehner won't even put this up for a vote because he is afraid that enough Republicans will bolt from the ranks to pass it, and the GOP will look like it's lost control of the House. It is truly sad considering the number of times that Boehner ... whined about Democrats playing 'political games.' "

SND: "My concerns about Boehner's motives increase daily. It's pretty much a given that his primary goal is to replace President Obama in the White House. Somehow he's determined that publicly leading the House in destroying the American economy will lead to a Republican Congress and president. From my perspective, that is exactly what will not happen in 2012. Voters will cast their ballots against anything Republican good or bad. Boehner must have been living in an alternative universe the past several decades to have conceived such a 'strategy.' "

MET100: "A two-month extension of the payroll tax (cut) was not the perfect answer. But it was a start."

donnybp: "This is so frustrating to watch. I can't believe that these people were voted into their positions. ... Can't they just pass the extension without trying to sneak anything extra into the legislation? I, as well as many others must be, (am) just exhausted over this political show. Pass the extension, take the time off to think about what's right for the country and come back to Washington ready to pass effective legislation that's bipartisan and collectively good for the country. Stop making the country suffer for the holidays!"

Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com.  Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (1,006 Responses)
  1. gar

    The teabagging Republicans in Congress are a pathetic and disgusting bunch of morons.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Flaitguy

    I smell a spring coming and not an Arab one, yet still, one way overdue. I call all common people republican or democrat to admit that this is all a shell game played by both sides. They can be devisive but we need not be. We need to come together and vote with our money. We need to talk to these congresspeople and these big businesses in the only language they understand; money. We need to decide what corporation is buying our representation and it isnt important which ones we start with, and stop buying from them. not one red U.S. cent will go toward buying what they sell. We simply take their entire U.S. consumer market away and don't stop until they go out of business. not till they say they are sorry and a mistake was made. I mean till they close their doors. Then maybe the others will start getting the hint. We need a revolution around here. It's way past due. We don't need guns but 90% of us still have live pocketbooks and we need to choke down on the people who have stollen our country from us, and we need to do it now!

    December 20, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Taje your occupy wall street rethoric somewhere else. You are living in lala land and need help.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kindasorta

      I agree Flaitguy. We do need to stop buying from the corporations that buy our representatives. Is there a website that displays such information?

      December 20, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tom in Orlando

    It's time for an "American Spring" uprising.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Change

    The entire Republican/Tea Party should be sent before a firing squad. Then see this f-ing country move forwrd!

    December 20, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • gar

      Agreed!!! The Republican/Tea Party is a criminal organization dedicated to the destruction of the American way of life. It should be outlawed, defunded and flushed down the toilet...

      December 20, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dean

    thank you republicans – for moving my interest towards the democrats after 25 years of support for your party. you have become weak, and have shown an obvious position towards a focus on causing the president as much of an obsticle possible to turn things around. you suck! and Boehner – if you break down in tears again on tv as you represent the USA I will include you in my daily prayers, but yours will not be positive... maybe an ass kicking at the gas station you p***y.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. 6foot2sf

    I understand the position of the Republicans in the House, but if the majority of the Republicans in the Senate can swallow this compromise why can't the House members. I do not believe that the Senate bill is THE answer but a combative congress is one of the main reasons given as to why our credit rating was downgraded.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. citizenUSA

    Me and my drunken buddies could run this country better, (at least we think so, when we're drunk). Likely most groups of drunks probably could.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. WW

    The GOP legislators are turning disgusting. Boehner and Cantor are not leaders. Leading means they can sell their ideology to 51% of the voters. They can barely sell their ideology to the top 1% – and that is disgusting. And for the Tea Party and Grover Norquist and the Freedom Works PAC, they are the most disgusting trio in our universe.

    I would like to see Obama place each legislator not present Monday morning at 9am EST under arrest. It is time to ruin the Legislators' Christmas! And I am serious. Make them not leave the Capitol building until a bill that Obama can sign has been worked out. Hand cuff legislators to their desks in the respective chambers. No unescorted potty breaks. No privacy. Feed them pizza and water. 24×7. No beds. No sleeping. No shaving or bathing. Keep them all in their chambers, not their offices, 24×7 until they break & assemble a bill that Obama will sign. I repeat – I am serious!

    This is long over due!

    December 20, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jianna

      Good idea. Put them in jail for the entire Christmans break with no visitation rights and let them taste reality or the future. We the people have had it and lots of things are going to be changing soon and the GOP and DINO's should leave the country now while they have a chance.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • FED-UP

      This is my first post. And I thought I was alone in my disgust for Grover Norquist and Freedom Works PAC. I am glad I am not alone.

      I agree about chaining them to their desks... not jail or prison but make the work 24×7 beginning the day after Christmas until they assemble a bill with language that our President can accept. Our President is clearly not our enemy. He is our President, something Grover Norquist and Freedom Works PAC cannot accept. Grover Norquist and Freedom Works PAC got their way under Bush and are clearly set on destroying our country.

      Today, I got a notice that I am being laid-off the end of the month. It is disappointing but with government aide, I know I can find another job. Why is the GOP so set on destroying this reliance? Each year for the past 35-years, I have paid my taxes... YES – I pay taxes. Now, because of the GOP economy of 2001-2008, the job creators are getting tax breaks and I am getting the axe.

      The GOP legislators can take this economy they crafted & created and shove it up Boehner's & Cantor's butts. They are a perfect example of what is wrong with our country – that they are just puppets for Grover Norquist and Freedom Works PAC.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • FED-UP2

      I am fed-up too with Grover Norquist and Freedom Works PAC. I have been a long-time GOP voter and contributor but not in 2012. I was leaning toward Romney but instead I will vote democrat across the board in 2012. I am very fed-up.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ThinkLessDoMore

    hang one and watch the rest become sympathetic to the mob, they're just loyal to themselves until it looks serious, so let the real asskissin' commence!

    December 20, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Debbie

    But I don't WANT a gas pipeline...........

    GOP! Stop ramming it down our throats. No gas pipeline!

    December 20, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. marcr7

    Never has the GOP made its face known so starkly as in these budget wars. Just as in all of the 20th century, as the party dedicated to protecting and enhancing the rich, they reveal themselves as empty of ideals and contemptuous of the middle class. As such they must resort to trickery to win elections: photo IDs to vote, redistricting, etc., etc. And the bitter irony of it all is that none dare note that the revered Ronald Reagan tripled the deficit and lowered middle-class income. thus beginning the so-called class war.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Andy

    The problem for so many is they don't understand, nor do they WANT to understand, the cause and effects of economic acitivities. Yes, politicians have input on the economy, but the gov't cannot MAKE a good economy no matter what they do. If they could then the economies of USSR, China (before the new regime), Venezuela, Cuba, Romainia, Greece, Spain, Italy, Great Britain, and so so many more like them would be booming. Instead they failed. Government can help a bit, but mainly it helps by enforcing the rule of law, the rule of property, rule of binding contracts, and the rule of freedom to create commerce (I made that one up!). Creating low taxes on what creates capital and creates commerce is paramount. Everyone should know that if you want to have less of something then tax it. So if you want less of capital to create businesses and jobs then heavily tax capital gains, dividends, corporate profits, and so on. If you want more of job creation keep taxes low and require – REQUIRE – people to work for what they get. Will some not work? Of course. Will some do some work and get lucky and make a ton of money? Yes. But most people will work, get ahead, and do OK and create a better place for their younguns. That's the way it works. Handouts like social giveaways don't work. If they did Greece would be a model economy to follow. Get it? No? Well, then keep up your rants on how much government (i.e. the GOP and some Democrats) DON"T give you and you'll be in the streets, but you won't be on easy street, no matter how many campout occupies you have. Learn what works and do whatever you can for yourself to make that happen for you (work and vote are the main things). If you don't learn what really works for you and you keep asking for the government to do what is "fair" for you then you won't get what you want. You just won't. Got it?? Yes? Good... so go to work and don't forget to vote. Don't get it? Well, just keep on occupying and complaining. After all, you gotta do somethin', right?!!?

    December 20, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jianna

      Andy, please wake up and just look around you. Corporations have had the Bush tax cuts to create jobs for 12 years now and where are those jobs???? They are non existant Andy – they created zippo! The corporations are sitting on billions right now and still refuse to create one job unless they get more tax breaks or a zero taxation. This is called extortion and you are part of it if you defend the GOP. The facts are as clear as a bell. Are the Democrats complicit? Yes to some extent they are too, since they helped pass the legislation allowing corporations to become the gods of the universe. But the unabated obstruction from the GOP the past three years is beyond unprecedented and falls into the category of pure facism. Wake up Andy – this country is going down and the GOP are the ones doing it for the most part.!

      December 20, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      So Jianna you are among those who keep looking to the government, and almost exclusively to the presidency and the Congress, for finding who created the problem and who can solve the problem. Hope you like complaining and protesting because with your understanding of what makes economies work and not work you are going to have a lot of "work" to do. Go occupy and parade and protest. Meanwhile some of your peers are really going to find out how to help themselves, somewhat, maybe not to become among the 1%, but help themselves nonetheless. (by the way, according to the rule of arithmetic there will ALWAYS be a 1%. Got it?) Is it hard to make it in today's ecomomy? It is. Is it different today to find your way in the economy? Yes. But you can. Or some will. The others (and it sounds like you are among them) will be relegated to occupying and protesting. Have a nice life.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. tstorm

    It's too bad Republicans in Congress will never read these threads... This GOP is the biggest DO NOTHING Congress in US history! We won't forget next November the tax hike you gave the middle class Republicans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Shelia B

    The Republicans may not believe in voodoo but they sure stick it to President Obama anyway they can.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. CCSOUR

    The country lacks a leader as President and a bunch of babies in the Senate. Stay and do your JOB. There should not be a Payroll Tax Holiday at all, but if you are going to pass it do the job and pass it right, 60 dyas is nothing but a headache for business'. Vote out all the Democrats and most of the Republicans next election.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • carla

      Check your facts. The senate is staying.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
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