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. John

    Boehner, along with the Senate Republicans, the full senate, and the President, were for the compromise on Saturday....Why should he be allowed to change his mind.?...because a few freshmen tea baggers? How can we ever believe him again if he keeps changing his mind?

    December 20, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  2. RonnieD

    This is absolutely ridiculous at this point. I've been out of work since January 2011, and I'm sick & tired of both the Senate and the GOP House. Their lives go on uninterrupted, but those of us who elected them are still suffering.

    I don't care whether you are a Democrat or a Republican – Dammit – get the job done & SAVE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Both the Senate & the House are destroying this country.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Coflyboy

    The GOP is the posterchild of what is wrong with America. They are the definition of corruption. I think they have shot themselves in the foot enough by now to lose any election.
    Anyone in the middle class voting Republican would be like a chicken voting for Col. Sanders.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ron

    Democrat President Obama has said during his campaign for President and while he has been President that taxes will not go up for anybody making less than $250,000.00 a year. In his own words "Not one dime will your taxes go up for those making less than $250,000.00 a year." Regardless what is going on in Congress now, the Democrats had full control of both houses for two years along with a Democrat President. If my taxes go up one dime on Jan., 1, 2012, I will not support any Democrat including our lying President!

    December 20, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin O.

      Your taxes would not go "up" they would go back to what they were before they went "down".

      December 20, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Murphy

      100% Correct Well said. Obama does nothing but lie. All the time. How dumb does he think we americans are?

      December 20, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnway

      You are kidding right? First, the tax was lowered; a policy change Obama put forth to try to help stimulate the economy and help the middle class. If the extension does nto go through, it would simply return teh rate to its original amount. So your taxes would not increase from what they were when he took office. Let us not forget that all the democrats are tryign tog et this passed, and it is the Republicans that are stonewalling it, breaking thier promise to not increase taxes from your point of view (and technically theirs as well, as they view it as once a tax is lowered, it should stay there). This is a temporary lowering to begin with, and it will eventually return to the proper rate.

      December 20, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • cc

      OH PLEASE. The Republicans KNOW that they need tax revenue and they already said it would not come from millionaires.. so from where? Te middle class. They will let this middle class tax cut expire then push the whole thing into committee where it will die.

      December 20, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      @Murphy and @Rom, Then perhaps you should really take a hard look at the realities of what has been happening. Perhaps a civics lesson on who is responsible for what in Washington and how the three branches of government interact.

      Contrary to what you spout here, Obama does not control Congress or the Judiciary branch of government.

      December 20, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Animal Farm

      johnway – you cannot explain this to most Americans – they've drank the koolaid & have donned their HOPE t-shirts.

      An unwillingness by Americans to control thier own futures and make thier own decisions is what has created this mess. Americans have willingly prostrated to their government in exchange for an illusion of security.

      December 20, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tjax

    Yet one more time the House of Representatives holds the American people hostage. I am tired of their games and rhetoric. Quit the petulant, peevish, preschooler posturing and do your job.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. HUGH

    I believe it would be wise to kick some things down the road other than the proverbial can Mr. Boenher is talking about..........and if it were something attached to his body he may gain a deeper insight as to what his job is about........he lost me when he started the tear jerking crap ........right than it became clear he was another pretentious .......out of touch..........self important. It is difficult to understand how we keep buying this garbage ..........its an insult that he thinks American people are that gullible

    December 20, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Uncle Rink

    John B., your golfing previliges are hereby voided. You cannot be trusted to front for the Republicans.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Larry M

    Having spent many years in D.C. and watching how the two parties react I can honestly say that while the Democrats might not be the best we have it is the Republicans that are the most narrow minded and hypocritical individuals I have ever encountered.............and I was neither a lobbyist or a federal employee. Their word on anything is worthless since with no qualm of conscience they will either deny they made the deal OR pretend the Democrats are lying!!! It is hard to have an agreement with people like that.............and I am a Republican and I remain so because those of us with any sense of honor need to stick around to clean up the mess later when the party implodes.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kevin O.

    You people complaining seem to have forgotten how to file for bankruptcy.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leaveit2beav

      Your right Kevin O. that's where this government has taken us all

      into bankruptcy.

      December 20, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin O.

      >.> I didn't mean myself.

      December 20, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • WW

      The federal government cannot file for bankruptcy. The only possibilities is (1) increase taxes; (2) the FED printing more money... and that can lead to inflation; or (3) our federal government can be shut down. I am one who has been paying taxes for 35+ years. I do not object to paying more taxes if the people earning more than I end up paying more too. I favor an EFT fee of 1.5% on all transactions including Wall Street, Real Estate, and Bank-to-Bank & Bank-to-FED transfers. It would be a huge intake and one that hits everyone.

      December 20, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. numb

    Let the true red states form another country and elect Sarah Palin and Newt as their leaders. They just sap money from the blue states anyway. Most red states take in more than they contribute; blue states are net contributors to the fed. They fail to invest in education and health care then we end up paying for it.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Leaveit2beav

    These people need to leave the safety of their walls in Washington and try to sell any of this bull snot stuff to the American public

    December 20, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Animal Farm

    Fire all the politicians – then cap the pay to 50k – revoke all voters registration – then let's see who resubmits for registration and who throws their hats into the race.......

    December 20, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Karen T

    Don't blame congress, blame the people who elected them. I don't feel sorry for people anymore. They put themselves in this pickle by voting for these people in both parties. One party is for the rich and the other party is chicken and try not to be for the rich but sometimes fail. Unless people wake up it will never change. I don't care anymore. Things will never change unless we change. When that happens maybe I will start to care.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • WW

      The problem is that 67% of the elected Representatives lied to voters. I saw one town hall just three weeks ago and it was amazing that the GOP is counting on Obama & Dems backing down. It was asked WHAT IF THEY DON'T BACK DOWN and the reply was THE DEMS WILL BACK DOWN. The representative never answered the question. Its that the GOP is trying to preserve the BUSH ECONOMY. This is NOT Obama's economy – it is still the GOP/Bush economy although the same liars in the GOP & GOP supporters who say its Obama's economy got it all wrong. That is FACT!

      December 20, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leaveit2beav

      Cool, so what you are saying is if terrorists attacked America, The Republicans would try to take the side of the terrorists and hope the other party would back down?

      December 20, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JPALONSO

    Boehner: I hope your reading these blogs, or at least some of your "people" are doing it for you. If I were you I would be updating my resume about now. Sounds like America is ready to pull your A$$ out of Congress with a noose.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mikey T.

    Ocean front property in Nebraska.....still available to you believers in the Republican smoke screen....going once.......going twice......

    December 20, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
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