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.

[tweet https://twitter.com/problemcauser1/status/149161231310262273%5D

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.

[tweet https://twitter.com/Jchawes/status/149126949715984386%5D

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."

[tweet https://twitter.com/jesseclee44/status/149140452552097792%5D

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.

[tweet https://twitter.com/hlovesidol/status/149144928524582912%5D

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."

[tweet https://twitter.com/lizbuddie/status/148901328834404352%5D

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.

[tweet https://twitter.com/JamalSimmons/status/149131939880775682%5D

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!"

[tweet https://twitter.com/lindberg49/status/149188169227698177%5D

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. Budget

    I like how congress just rounded-off their budget to an even trillion dollars. Of course since we as a nation produce over 10 trillion per year, by the time they are done with US it will be more like 3 trillion dollars with half of it to be paid ny our great grandchildren.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Pretenders

    ...all the while pretending to be having a hard time rectifying the very damages they themselves have done. (and are afraid of what a public audit of the federal reserve system located inside of our borders would reveal)

    December 20, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ivan

    They do not understand that we are going to vote them out next election. Kind of like asking your boss to fire you.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leroy

      You mean the Republican Tea Partiers, of course. In that I have to agree with you; they made nothing but trouble since coming in and need to be replaced with moderate Republicans or Democrats who won't take the country hostage.

      December 20, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Actually with proposed voter suppression laws and redistricting that all favor GOP it may just be the end of the road for our nation. Our grand children will most likely all work as serfs to their overlords

      December 20, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Will Downing

      You probably said they would never be voted in in the first place in November 2010. Your predictions are suspect.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. lewtwo

    "Who do these people represent? Answer: Themselves." Best comment I has seen.
    Every member (especialy the GOP) of congress should hang their head in shame as they turn in their resignations.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Eric S

    The problem is that the Republicans are once again protecting the rich. A modest increase on taxes paid by the rich would help solve this problem. And still the rich wouldn't be anywhere near their previous tax rates. There's NO evidence that higher taxes on the rich hurt job growth. But we know that higher taxes on the middle class hurts consumption, and therefore job growth,

    December 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      I'm sorry. How about a modest tax increase on EVERYBODY. Right now you are spouting the populist tax the rich and yet those of us who are paying taxes feel we are paying too much so that a bunch of deadbeats can pay nothing. If the President honestly came forth and said I'm going to put an X% tax on everybody regardless of income or how they spend their income you would find support from many of us. But idiots like you say tax the rich because you want the government to spend their money and not yours.

      December 20, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • schuyler

      Kevin, you don't speak for everyone who pays taxes . . . . .by a long shot. Some us actually understand economics.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chuck88888

      Kevin, good job pointing out Eric S's hypocrisy.

      December 20, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Chris from New Mexico USA

    I am a registered republican, and I can assure you that if the payroll tax is NOT extended, and they do not increase taxes on the wealthy .......... I will vote every single democrat that i can! How do you pronounce "Boehner"? Definitely not the way I pronounce it!

    December 20, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • obsceneJolene

      I love you!!!

      December 20, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • pat carr

      i agree. i'm done with the republicans for good, or at least till this current batch is out. They are a set of non-compromising, arrogant clowns. we need real leadership right now

      December 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Chandra

    Why is it every time that the President wants to get something done, the GOP has a road block? The President and the Democrats agreed to scrap the 1% tax on filthy rich to pay for this and still the GOP had the guts to introduce the Keystone pipeline deal in to it and stall the whole thing.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • BinFL

      Exactly! I heard a Repub Congressman on C-Span this morning lying out of his teeth saying that this issue is that the Dems want to only extend it for 2 months while the Repubs are wanting a 1 year extension. The Dems wanted a year's extension from the start but the Repub/Tea Partiers as usual threw a wrench into it and now they are trying their hardest to make it look like Obama raised our taxes!! Throw the bums out in 2012!!!

      December 20, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Pretenders

    @Ivan. We've been doing the in-and-out thing for quite a while. Perhaps it's time to hold congress nose to the grindstone until they or President Obama allow us to view audits conducted by the B.I.S. of the federal reserve system. They must be hiding something, otherwise we would be allowed to view audits.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Change is coming...

    Time for an American Spring... None of these politicians represent us or our interests. Time to clean house.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • carla

      I am in total agreement. This is ridicules. We have to do something. Anything. How can we leave our country in the hands of these incompetent people? I understand why the freshmen were voted in. They lied to us about their agenda. Now it's time for a recall of everyone. Clean house. Where are "WE THE PEOPLE"? Enough is enough

      December 20, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jules

    We need to scrap the lot of them. This current bunch is so far removed from the average American they couldn't figure out what we wanted to save their careers. I want smaller government and would like to start with shrinking the idiots in Washington, starting with Obama and ending wtih every last Congressman (and Congresswoman).

    December 20, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dave

    It's not just Republican politicians. The voters selected these obstructionists. GOP voters are the problem!

    December 20, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. lewtwo

    I do not understand why the GOP is even bothering with selecting a clown to run for president. People are going to be so angry that their presidental canidate will not stand a chance.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mass

    The US Population has a very short memory and that is what Congress is counting on.
    Congress needs a monetary incentive to work together – when ever the budget is delayed, threatening the livelihood of the military, Elderly,Federal workers (FAA, etc.), etc., Congress should also not be paid. They'll move a whole lot quicker to resolve issues if not doing so would impact their wallets!

    December 20, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kevin

    These stalemates and catastrophes are exactly why we need to reduce the power of the Federal Government. Nobody would care about these issues if the Federal Government wasn't trying to control our lives every day. Reduce the size and scope of Federal power and you will reduce the amount of heartburn we all feel when they bicker over money.

    This would have the added benefit of making it harder for people and politicians to use the Federal Government to play Robin Hood with the wealth of others.

    There are a host of good reasons to downsize the Federal Government and when it is done. Most of us will be better off.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. John

    It is obvious that the concepts of leadership and doing the right thing for the people they supposedly represent are no longer part of Washington culture. Compromise is an essential part of democracy but these buffoons don't seem to get it. They certainly don't represent me.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
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