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

    When will people realize whats going on here. I'm an independent. While I don't regularly support either party it is painfully obvious that the republican party is to blame. Since it became clear that Obama would defeat McCain in '08 it has been the stated goal of the republicans not to govern but to do anything in their power to defeat Obama in the next election. The likes of McConnell, Boenher and their ilk have put a return to power ahead of the welfare of the country. A tiny faction of the right wing of the House of Representatives noew holds the entire country hostage do the machinations of these fools.

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

      Please explain to us all how trying to invoke some fiscal ssanity doesn't benefit all of us. I await with baited breath.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff, Chicago

      Michael, you are as much of an independent as obama is a republican. I find it humorous when ignorant liberals pose as moderate people. No one believes you.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Typical response Jeff. As usual members of the obstructionist party of "no" immediately start with the foolish liberal refrain for anyone they disagree with.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ron

    People who are very discouraged with our government are starting to have the same idea, This next election we need to vote all of the existing heads of government out of office and start with a newyounger perspective. We are going to continue to have this kind of trouble in the government as long as WE DO NOT HAVE TERM LIMITS FOR ALL SENATORS AND CONGRESSMEN. Why should they not have the same restrictions as the president? The reason our forfathers made the law that the Prisident could only serve two terms in office was to prevent a President from emmassing to much power and setting up a dictatorship. BUT, whats the difference if the senate leaders and the congress leaders after being in office for ten years become the puppets of the rich and wealthy. If a corporation cannot buy a senator or congressmen to do thier bidding, then our elected leaders will work at thier jobs that we the people voted them into office to do.
    The people in Egypt, Libya, Syria are dieing everyday because thier leaders took advantage of them and abused thier power. YET, we as a people don't have enough gumption to vote our leaders out of office. If Gadafie's people could have had our power and voted him out of office instead of losing thousands of lives, Do you think they would have hesitated? THIS IS THE ONLY WAY WE ARE GOING TO GET BACK CONTROL OF OUR GOVERNMENT, VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE AND PASs A LAW FOR TWO TERM LIMITS . WE NEED EVERY PERSON WHO CAN VOTE TO GO TO THE POLES NEXT NOVEMBER AND VOTE FOR A DIFFERENT SENATOR AND A DIFFERENT CONGRESSMEN. I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO ABOUT A PRESIDENT, THE CHOICES WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN IS BETWEEN BARNEY MADDOFF AND BARNEY MADOFF, WHAT DO YOU DO?? WONDER !!!!! COULD WE WRITE IN BILL CLINTON??? AT LEAST HE BALANCED THE BUDGET BEFORE BUSHEY TOOK OVER!!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marcus Marcero

      I appreciate the sentiment of term limits – however that will only increase the power of the non-elected party hacks – we need campaign reform first and cut the legs out from the two party system.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dave, Ohio

    Amazing - both sides talking out of both sides of their mouths. Pres. and Democrats originally wanted longer plan, now what Senate came up with is the best. How's that work - just wait to go thru this again in another two months?? How does that make sense? We have on overspend problem with no end in sight - cutting maybe $37 billion for 2012 budget is appalling when there will be another over $1 trillion more in the hole. Wake up - look at the bigger picture - we have to get this crazy spending under control. We are over $1 trillion more per year in spending than when we were in 2008. Yes– the recession hit, but the income dropped about $400 billion per year, not the $1.3 – 1.5 trillion over run that the Pres. and Reid/Pelosi gave us. Look past your noses and think where this is heading us - The line on spending has to be held, then reduced - the sooner the better.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Nevis Mn

    Time to starve out Congress. If there was no tax revenue they wouldn't have anything to fight over. And nothing for the big money lobbyists to gain from buying influence.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tom

    How do we fire these clowns? NOT "vote out of office" and NOT "impeach"! I want the lot FIRED for non-performance, with PERMANENT loss of benefits!

    December 20, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Charles Easley

    Talk about slanting the coverage to favor Obaminator!! Let's not forget it was the Democrats in the Senate who TURNED DOWN the 1 year extension and voted instead for a 2 month extension only. You want a 1 year extension of the tax cut - well the Republican House HAS ALREADY DONE IT. Go get the Dumbocrats and hold their feet to the fire. CNN should not perpetrate such biased reporting.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Marcus Marcero

    The only way to stop this madness is outlaw any private contributions to politicians – this is just legalized bribery – we need public funding of political campaigns not the Dem or Repub organizations or interest groups. Stop the madness and change campaign funding laws NOW

    December 20, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Rogelio

    Time to remove 9% Boehner and his whole wrecking crew of the Middle Class! Can't wait to vote.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. wallice


    December 20, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. VILTOR

    The republicans only want to block an agreement with the president. They are hoping everyone will throw up their hands and blame gridlock and both parties. It's time people stopped falling for this trick. They are willing to put the good of the country at risk for their own agenda. This whole idea of shrinking government and slashing spending in economic downtime is absurd and can only resilt from demented thinking or maliciousness.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Nick

    People think we can just "vote them all out". ROFLMAO. If it were only that easy. You see, we don't get to pick who is running. On one side you have the unions taking members dues and picking their (Democratic) candidate. On the other side you have the king-makers picking who will run and get funding. Choice? Thing of the past.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marcus Marcero

      AGREE – Campaign Reform is the only way to stop the BS. You can vote everyone out but it won't change one damn thing because the System is broke

      December 20, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. J Doyle

    What a bunch of clowns. Ringling Bros has nothing on this Congress. Would be great if we could get rid of every one of them and start over. We could not do worse than what we have!!

    December 20, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Marcus Marcero


    December 20, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Just a Citizen

    Keep the tax breaks for the wealthy but screw the working man. Make them work through the holidays, suspend their pay, get the deadbeats out of office. Seems to be just more penis jousting. I am sick of it. Maybe it is time for the guillotine. Lop off the heads of the members of congress. They have flushed the toilet and we are going down.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Paul

    The Republicans seem bent on winning every battle. No compromise. Just "no" on everything. If the Senate passes a bill with 90% approval (and Boehner had an agreement with McConnell) then it seems the house should pass it also. Looks like the tea party has Boehner in a tough place. Time to thin the herd in 2012.

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