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. laskerknight

    and I've got holes in My underwear . What's new Them damn Republicans don't care about the American citizen's . That's why they WILL NOT... be re-elected

    December 20, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gerald

      If you want to speak in generalities then please explain to me why the dems do not care about fostering growth in business – you know...those that create jobs that put food on your table?

      December 20, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. BillyGoat

    What a spectacle! We have the GOP (that's "Grand Oil Party") pulling out all the stops to force this Canadian oil pipleline through. Why? We are already EXPORTING gasoline – and controlling supplies to keep the prices high. Canadian oil IS foreign oil. It does absolutely nothing for U.S. consumers, but it makes some oil billionaires much richer than they already are. Why aren't any of the news outlets really covering this?

    Meanwhile, we have the Dummycrats pushing for a cut in Social Security taxes. Social Security IS NOT insolvent, but if we cut the SS taxes in half for any period of time, Social Security will be bankrupt. Then, I suppose, these guys will look into the TV cameras and shed alligator tears for those of us who are forced to eat dog food because there is no money for Social Security. I can't decide which party is betraying me more.

    As much as I like my Dummycrat congressperson, I intend to vote third party in 2012. The two ruling parties are both so corrupt and dishonest that we must throw the thieving bums out. What's truly shocking is that these frauds think the American people are simply too stupid to figure it out. As the GrayPanthers say "STOP TRUTH DECAY".

    December 20, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • V

      Yes, they are both cheating the American taxpayers. How do WE stop it? WIth a Vengence for VIctory.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nutcasepoliticians

      It is crocodile tears not alligator.
      I am glad more and more people realize that both parties are useless which is why even if gop is voted out it wont do any good as the other set of idiots will be in power.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Gerald

    We have to ask ourselves why our government is at a stalemate.

    1 – CSPAN: Our elected officials are grandstanding and using many false claims for the sole purpose of garnering awareness
    2 – Tea Party: Republicans are handcuffed by more or less what is a third party
    3 – POTUS: Obama was a Jr. Senator with only 3 years in Washington when elected President. He has sorounded himself with many campaign colleagues and has a sever lack of "friends" on the hill. Because of this the House and Senate are left to fend by themselves and because of 1 and 2...you see the results of a weak leader.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • rch

      Answer is much simpler.. Lobbying, lobbying, lobbying.
      Money talks.. All else is noise to them. Including us.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • V

      Who says they are at a stalemate? I believe THEIR plan is to put the American Taxpayers into the same bracket as those in poverty -- totally dependent on what the government gives them!

      December 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • CJ

      LOBBYING is the biggest proble. They no longer answer to the people.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mr. Smith

    We should make it mandatory for all Congressmen and Senators to watch Mr. Smith goes to Washington this holiday season..not that they would learn anything from it...but it would make me feel better!!!

    So, the republicians have rasied taxes by proxy...no extension of payroll tax cuts, so the democrats should be happy, so why can't we get any agreement in the two houses; because they don't have a clue about what they are doing but they know one thing... they will not agree with each other because it is against some kind of unwritten rule...

    Americia..we need to vote these clowns out...as soon and often as we can..otherwise it will just continue to be sameo sameo and then.. we get the kind of governing that we deserve, because we keep re-electing them.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Larry Stokes


    December 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nutcasepoliticians

      Agree with you completely. But the politicians will not make it easy for us to throw them out.
      Did you not see the idiot congressman who said " the people dont want to be thrown a life preserver. They want a lifeboat !"

      But that level of intelligence is too much to expect from our congress be it dems or reps.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. MerlinX4

    Too funny. The Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and the presidency and still couldn't pass a budget. Now the GOP controls one house of Congress and suddenly all the deadlock is their fault.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. T-Bone

    Everyone says you get what you vote for, well I for one have not voted for President since Reagan, or any other offce except the local offices. Then you may say "well if you don't vote you can't complain. Well if I do vote it always seems I am voting for the lesser of 2 evils, rich pomous asses, all of them. It may take a revolt of some sort maybe even violence French Revolution style. Our government are a bunch of self serving idiots that could care less about our future, it's all about them and the now. Throw them all ot!!!!!!!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Smith

      T I agree with you but, think about what u is saying, what if none of us voted..this is one of your rights as a citizen of this country, don't let the clowns in congress keep you from using it...myself, and my sons, and men and women before us worked very hard to give you and the rest of americians that right.

      As i get older I find that the man that sits in the white house has less and less influence unless he has "friends" in the house and senate..so, america should think about who sits in the oval office..while the congress can and has, in fact, stopped this president from getting pretty much anything done..a president that can comunicate with these boneheads and knows how to lead can get us straight.

      I am a independent..i did not vote for the current president last general election but i support him as our president...this congress, both houses have tested my faith in our system..but folks like you and i can get these clowns out of office if we work hard enough at it...don't give up the ship yet..we have an opportunity every two years to try and do what is right!!

      December 20, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nutcasepoliticians

      Mr Smith What happens if you throw them out after two years???????????????
      Nothing. The other party comes in power and the people you voted out still remain in congress they just shift from being in a majority to being in a minority that's all.
      No solution unless there is A THIRD PARTY.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Barbara Hatton

    As far as I am concerned Congress should be fired. Their job is to keep the country fiscally sound and running. All their political posturing and keeping the 2012 election in the forefront of their minds has been an absolute mis-use of their time. If any of us performed our jobs as poorly, we would be fired. Get it together folks or get out.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • V

      Yes, Barbara, you are right. They are in Congress to keep this country running for us, the American Taxpayers. Any money they spend on wars, on foreign aid (such as saving African nations from themselves or sending rice to N. Korea), on welfare, on public housing, on food stamps, is money that was taken from the working people and given to those who did not earn it. These bums are making millions from our dollars.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. RA

    If our public officials are so concerned about being re-elected that they can not do their job out of fear of offending some group. I say one term and out. There are plenty of good people out here that can do the job.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. V

    V is for vengence, V is for victory, V is for very soon now ........ America will be returned to it's citizens.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • livinlife420

      Agree100%, but we have to worry "our" military can detain no representation. Hmmm kind of makes you wonder if this is the reason why this passed, they know people will get fed up and they are scared there will be an uprising.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • rch

      V is for.. go Vote!

      December 20, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Alfred.E.Neuman

    Congrass is truly MAD.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alfred.E.Neuman


      December 20, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Abraxsys

    This is ultimately the fault of the people. Did you vote in the last election! And if so, did you vote for one of these clowns? If you don't participate in our electoral process, you share the blame. If you helped put one of these idiots in office, you share the blame.

    It's time for everyone to get involved and to use your vote WISELY. It is really the only power any of us can wield to change this mess.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • T-Bone

      No you can't blame someone for not voting, like I said do you vote for the lessor of 2 evils? I can not, will not, and did not vote for someone I do not respect or agree with their views, I wouldn't be able to sleep at night. Do you think an average Joe with any common sense could be elected? Not unless he or she has a billion dollars collected from the lobbyists and self serving special interest groups. This country is broken and sadly may never be fixed, I am 60 years old, not a dime in debt and my kids will have to pay for the mess our government has managed to get us into. Buy American!! That will do more to help this country than any other issue easily.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Firem

    Why would any pork barrel need to be attached to the tax extension, except for political posturing. Supposedly, they've already established funding for the extension.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rob

    What makes you truly think the general publics vote counts? Come on, it's counted by the amount of money lined in their pockets! Duh!

    December 20, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Greg E

    Once again the "We the People" phrase is ignored by those in power. When nearly 80% of the "People" think they're being screwed by the rich, those in power can't hear us. So now the taxes of the rich have been protected and the NOT rich will have to ante up again. It's truely amazing that the so-called how do we pay for it crowd never seems to talk about removing the cap that lets those making more than $106,000 stop paying. We already have term limits, this term ends on Nov 6, 2012. The only question is, can we survive these idiots until then?

    December 20, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • B2H

      It's not that they can't hear us – they WON'T hear us. There's a big difference. It's patent refusal to represent the people that elected them. If any of us working people behaved like this in the workplace, we would all be terminated effective immediately. November 2012 can't come soon enough. We can make sure they hear us loudly and clearly!

      December 20, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vic of New York

      The only way for the "People" to exercise power is to send the bums home. Americans got bamboozled by the GOP and "TEA Party". These clowns turned out to be nothing more than chumps and pimps for the Koch brothers, Wall Street, and the Extremist Right. While these Republicans are eating their children, we the American people suffer. I say it's time to send the ineffective John "Bone-head" and the rest of those TEA Party Republicans home. STOP listening to to Rupert Murdoch's Faux News, and cap Rush "Limburger" (he smells that bad). THAT's what wrong with Washington. And that's what's ailing America. These guys are treasonists, time to treat them as such.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
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