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. Michael

    being a small business owner it amazes me that congress acts like idiots. They could care less about us middle class people since they are all millionaires!! If they have to pay more taxes then so what! They can afford it. They have to get their heads on straight and get the economy going! We are dying out here in the business world and they just look out for themselves. Fire them all!!!!!!!!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Nick

    Why does nobody realize that the payroll tax cut does not help you? You are taking money out of social security for an immediate gain. If they called it the "Guaranteed demise of social security just so you can feel a little better and want to vote for us next year" bill, I don't think it would have the support that it's currently getting.

    Personally I love the tax cut. It will kill the social security scam quicker and make people realize they shouldn't trust the government for anything important. I don't pay S.S. at my job (Illinois pension system baby!) and I decided when I was young that I would not count on the government for my retirement. You guys are on your own, but aren't the democrats supposed to want to PRESERVE social security not de-fund it?

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

      The truth is, we (being those under the age of 50) will never see a dime of social security. It is unsustainable and will not exist by the time we are old enough to collect. So yea, gimme the money now.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ralph_Indy

    The two month extension was voted on by most Republicans in the Senate. So it's not in any way the Democrats fault. It's the Republican members of the house. Period!

    December 20, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • NoToRepubs

      The Rethugs are at it again–playing political games holding the tax cuts hostage in order to ram the Canadian pipeline down the throats of the American people. It is all about MONEY. They are FOR big corporations and don't give a damn about the middle class/poor. They attached the pipeline item to the House bill, because they know that it won't pass with the pipeline item attached. There is not time enough to study the environmental impact before Dec.31st. They did this in part because they don't want the tax cuts/unemployment comp. for middle class/poor anyway! Vote out these teatards!

      December 20, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. gordon schrempp

    I want to know the names and see the pictures of the Tea Party members of the House and I want to do all I can to get this ignorant mass of #%*&@#$$*# out of the system....Bury them deep....

    December 20, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rob

    It won't be a foreign country that will overthrow our Government. But her own citizens, when they get fed up.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jimbo

    Why can't we, the voters, whose needs or voice means nothing, get some pro-bono lawyers and start a class action suit for the removal of these self interest incompetents. Our votes mean nothing because it's both parties, the Corporations spend more money on Lobbying and practically no taxes (many actually none) and the publicity these lawyers would get would provide them more clients than imaginable.

    Congress has literally killed the middle class and, killed and wounded tens of thousands of our troops in wars which accomplished nothing, excelosing track of Billions of OUR dollars and making Billions for companies, like Haliburton.


    December 20, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. rosethornne

    Remember the prime directive of the retardlican party: "deny obama a second term".

    NOT get this country out of its economic mess.
    NOT respond to the will of the people.
    NOT behave in a responsible manner.
    NOT cling to the last shreds of their sould in the face of waterfalls of corporate money pouring in after the horrendous Citizens United ruling.
    NOT take care of vulnerable citizens.
    NOT safeguard what hard working citizens have worked for.

    just screw over the president, not caring what else get destroyed in the process – utterly disgusting.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Hank B.

    This will go down in history as the year government killed America.

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

      Hmm... I thought that was last year : ).. or maybe the one before.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jarazekem

    I am a foreigner who the american goverment has taken care of. I have lived the american dream better than its own american people. you americans have the power in your hands to stand at washington and demand a change. instead you sit and whine and expect to have your way, as you always have. I am from egypt and though I wasn't there for the historical revolt, you should take a lesson for us. I have enjoyed and have moved on to help my people. When america becomes america again, and I sincerely hope it does, I will captalize your county's name unless america the great is now no more.

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

      good point.. however, most americans are quite strongly against some of the violence we see from the Arab Spring. the challenge is how to effect real change without huge amounts of bloodshed.. I'm not sure that widespread rioting is the ideal solution, because we already had that in the early 1970s, it replaced the power, but we're no better or worse off now than when we were then.. in other words, I have yet to see a nation created out of revolution whose new leaders actually knew how to run a country.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg E

      Unlike most of the middle east, we have the right to a revolution every 2 years. IMHO, the number one problem with our system right now is that "we the people" are not holding our elected officials accountable and we're wasting our votes. When we keep letting these people lie to us to get our vote and then re-electing them, then it's our own fault.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ouy

    Everyone of them should be lined up for treason. Their actions are killing the country, little by little. They are at war with the citizens. The goal, "destroy from within". And it appears they are doing a great job of that, setting up a government collapse. As everyone just sits back and watches it happen in disbelief. were all screwed.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. BigHwasdemo

    I have not seen anything on here about the programming of payroll programs to affect the 2 month extension. As I understand it, the provision for having the maximum allowed income in the 2 months to be 18,000 dollars +/- would require reprogamming of payroll programs for over 1.5 million employers and would take a few months. Why hasn't CNN mentioned that issue. Also we have over 500,000 miles of pipelines already, what is another 2,000 miles if it creates jobs that Obama swears he wants. There is a lot of emotion here but what we need is awareness and consideration of what is actually happening. It's politics folks and I'm a Democrat and have been for over 40 years!!

    December 20, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Randy B

    Watching Congress work is like watching an episode of Boardwalk Empire. Who knows what really goes on behind the scenes.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Robl

    unfortunatly the US congress is too disconnected hear this. The only way to send a message is to vote them out!

    December 20, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. TomGI

    1.) Mandatory term limits for congress required.
    2.) Ban lobbyists from access to congressmen. Make it a felony.
    3.) Ban former congressmen from becoming lobbyists for 10 years.

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

    What ever happened to a government of the people, by the people and for the people? Since when did the political objectives of a minute group (tea party) represent the opinions of an entire coutry? It's time to send a clear and unwavering message to those who are supposed to be representing US! To the GOP and Democrats who have consistently caused undue hardships on the American people for the sake of political shennanigans: We are NOT the uneducated sheep that you have counted on us to be for way too long, and the American people are tired of the political games that you are playing with our lives. If the 2012 elections do not reflect this, then nobody has a right to complain. GET OUT AND VOTE! Help end this madness.

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