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. stormy123

    7 of 10 jobs are created by SMALL BUSINESSES.....which Obama's Jobs plan and middle cvlass tax custs would have helped. Im a business owner and Im not a millionaire. So, how is Eric Cantor and the Republikooks going to help me??? Im voting out every Repubican I can next year....and Grover Norquist and the Koch Brothers can go to h*ll!!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Totally fed up and disheartened

    Everyone from President Obama on down through the ranks of our political "voted in" represententatives need to start being leaders, step up to the plate, and do what is right for this country. We need a Winston Churchill like president who isn't afraid of the polls and leads this country and it's people through the painful economic changes that need to come and stop prolonging the enviteable day of future economice reckoning that is headed straight for us like a run away train coming full steam ahead. We need to stop sticking our noses into other countries business and only do so when we can lead by example in cleaning up our own financial mess. Our other elected political officals all standing their ground in Washington need to remember if they all stand together and work together in the end their poll #'s would reach historic approval ratings because of what good they have done for this country. Doesn't anyone in Washington DC have the guts to say, now is the time that we all need to work for the good of this country and it's people and ban all those lobbyist to the basement of the Capitol until the job is finally done? Also they should all be held to the standard of "no work, no pay" like the rest of us. They should all hang their heads in shame for what they have been and continue to do to the people of the USA. As each day goes by I just lose more and more respect for everyone of them.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Millionaires Need More Cash

      I'm a senior executive at Exxon, where I make in the high six figures. The country club where I live needs to put up a security fence and we desperately need a new pool and tennis court. How am I going to pay for this unless the republican's cut my taxes?

      December 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. passion

    I have never been unemployed....until now. I have expierenced first hand what my life is like in the hands of congress. I assure you that if they do or don't pass the bills, I personally will come out of this victorious b/c it's a scary, scary, scary feeling to have to rely on a congress that just isn't reliable. Even if they pass the bill, they still look bad....probably becasue they are-are-bad.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Virginia

    Boehner agreed to the 2-month terms, but then conferred with his puppet masters (Tea Party) and let them tell him what to do. He is only a mouthpiece. He wouldn't be as smart as the dummy Charlie McCarthy. He qualified more as Mortimer Snerd.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. sharon

    This congress is a bunch of idiots and they don't get the fact that they are cutting their nose to spite their face!!

    December 20, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. R

    What, have all the Lobbyist gone on Christmas Vacation and aren't there to tell Congress what to do!????

    THROW THE BUMS OUT!!

    December 20, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. RedSea

    We need TERM LIMITS. ONE TERM AND OUT. No lobbyists, no career politicians, no dynasties of endless power. Congress serves itself, the rich, and the corporate, not the people who put them there.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mike

    The only way to change this is to really research the independents in the upcoming election for both houses of congress and also the white house. Both parties think they are above the people they are suppose to represent. Even if it is someone new, if they are one of the 2 parties, nothing will change because the party always come first.. time to throw both parties out. And don't go in thinking you will throw your vote away by voting for an independent. You will be throwing your vote away if you vote for either a democrat or republican..

    December 20, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jon

    The republicans have got to go, they don't understand how much they are hurting this country. Tea Party member is the big problem why nothing gets done. They have gotten pay raise the last two year and the rest of fed got Zero. I don't understand why they still have jobs, if they want to cut government start with the house and senate and all the staff they have. What tax dollar waste, fraud and abuse.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • glyder

      yeah,it's only the republicans.bless the democrats.YOU are the problem.anyone that thinks either party is a savior is a liar or a party sheep.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ThinkingMan

    This is an exceptionally bad time for We the People. For whatever reasons, we have trusted our legislative branch with children - spoiled, undisciplined, brats. As such We should reprimand them all - vote them ALL out. Every single one. I know there are a few that will reply that replacing these children with untested citizens is counter productive. To these unthinking individuals I wish to point out that NOTHING is getting done on what serious problems we have. Instead we see these children have reaffirmed that In God We Trust is still part of our countries mantra and that the tomato on a pizza makes the pizza a vegitable. This is wrong. Time for them to go.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Washington GOP Cesspool

    Boehner, McConnell , Cantor, and all of the GOP need to be thrown out. They only care about themselves. And millionaires, special interests, and powerful corporations.

    Republicans disgust me.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Burbank

    Time to get rid of the party system and have candidates run on individual platforms and chosen on individual merit. It's a failed systems that has outlived it's usefulness and has now become a detriment and liability to the people.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. olivia stein

    I thought they originally agreed to the 2-month term also and am very surprised and confused to be hearing all of this mess that is going on now. it's ridiculous.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. PDXguy

    The Republicans continue their scorched earth policy, do they care about the average person? no, so the Dems TRY to do something for the majority but no, it has taxes for millionaires, so the Dems bend, but no, the Repubs throw in a pipeline that has nothing to do with tax cuts and unemployment extensions, so the Dems offer a compromise, but no, now the Repubs won't even do that...truly the party of "try to make Obama look bad at everyones expense except our rich friends".

    December 20, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. (R) in Florida

    There's an easy fix. Just vote the third candidate in every congressional race the next time around. The first two are always Republican and Democrat. Just vote 3. The key is to get rid of the dead wood in Congress. If our government were a business they would have all been fired by now.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
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