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. J

    essentially, the economy is still in a recession... this is a time when tax cuts have their greatest utility. so what boehner and co. are saying is, we don't care about Americans and people struggling to pay their mortgage, we just want the economy to get worse so Obama doesn't get reelected. I'm not a Democrat, but the GOP has become a shame to the nation. I feel sorry for Republicans... their party treats them like simpletons who cannot think for themselves.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lindsay

    Bottom line: Republicans don't carry about middle or working class Americans. But they keep holding the Bible up against criticism and average Americans keep falling for it.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shelley

      I am so sick of the Republicans making money on my back. I am 62 and my job was cut by 2/3 thi syear. Who will hirea 62 year old. Screw the Republicans. All I can say is peole better disregard their bible welding ways. they have lined their pockets on the backs of the poor and middle class. If they win, the middle calss is dead and buried. Work with all you've got to make sure they do not return to congress.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rob Corley

    Fed up with congress? It IS this simple.

    Remind congress that they are Americans first and Republicans or Democrats second.
    They DO work for us and we CAN send them home.

    ... Send your Senators and Representative this simple message:

    I demand that you do your job! I demand that you find a way to reach an agreement!
    If you fail, I will fire you by voting for the person running against you. It IS that simple.

    Find your Representative here:

    Find your Senator here:

    If you agree send this to everyone you can.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. charles r williams

    I didn'tbother to read the above comments because I probably have the same thing to say. This group of so-called statesman that are allegedly at the helm of the ship of state are a disasterr starting with the shadowless man in the White House. I say clean house and start over again – they certainly can't get anything done. CRW

    December 20, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mark Halpert

    The President "wanted" a one year extension, the House Republicans "want" a 1 year extension, let's put congress to the test by convening a conference committee ASAP and getting it done.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ThinkingMan

    Anyone else notice how few postings are from those who "truly believe" in Fox News (an oxymoron)?

    December 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Andrew Williams

    Well here they go again....Sick and tired if the stupid games they play with the people...

    December 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. chris

    This is the best they can do? Seriously? And they think failing to pass it will help them / the country how? I think the collective IQ of the republicans in the House at this point is not much higher than than the Congressional approval rating.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Cal Bob

    The PAY of congress needs to be withheld untill 2013.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Vincent

    I find it real funny that these social conservatives who claim to know God would have a lack of compassion for the poor and middle class instead they are protecting the rich. That's not the God I know. He says in his word if you close your ears to the poor then in your time of need he will close his ears to you. I would if I could say to the GOP leadership who are you really representing. It is certainly not God, and certainly not the people who voted you into office. And all for what when. The worlds economy is so very fragile and anyone can fall even the USA.. All so you can blame it all on Obama so you can win the white house. All I have to say to that is grow up you are so proud and blind that you don't even realize or refuse to see the American public is watching and we are as dumb and ignorant as you are hoping we are

    December 20, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vincent

      Oop I ment to say we are not as dumb as you hope we are. But come 2012 election you will see GOP who the real fools were yourselves

      December 20, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Donna

    It is time to vot out all members of Congress. We need two-term limitations. Congress has forgotten that they are employees of the American people. In the real world, if you do not perform as expected on the job, you are fired. I was a registered Republican for 40 years, last year I switched to Independent. Neither party impresses me. Again, we need term limits. The economy is not great. Where are all the jobs they are talking about. I have been umployed for 10 months, I do send applications (retail, office, anything that is advertised) but am either over-qualified or never hear anything. Employers are also finding ways to not hire anyone over 55. It is against the law, but they find a way. If I lose unemployment, I will lose my house.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. drmsecon

    I am voting no in 2012, as in no to anyone currently in office. EXCEPT O'Bama – and I am only voting for him because: a) I like Michelle; and, b) The Republican field is just so, so sorry.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JustMeAgain692

    Read between the lines folks. If you get rid of all the finger-pointing done by both sides, you're left with absolutely nothing. Congress and the White House received their raises. They get their pensions, they get their retirement benefits, they get a portable healthcare NOT of anything we working class folks get. THEY have already received everything they want.

    They, BOTH SIDES, sit there an dicker back and forth, place blame, fuss, throw tantrums, JUST to make it look like they're working on something when 1/2 the time they're not. It's a fascade. None of these elected officials have our best interest at heart. They may preach a good game before election, but when it comes down to it, they get into office, greed sets in, their eyes turn green and our deficit is quadrupled...

    So before you blame one side or the other, open you eyes and see the forest for the trees. Fix it? No, i doubt we could ever get it fix it because Congress and the President have the final say and you think they're going honestly put us working class people before their pockets? um ... NO!

    We need to OUST them all – both sides alike, and start fresh. and if that next Congress/President doesn't work, then we OUST them all again and keep going until we get some serious folks in there that try to be honest and do what's right. Put the fear of the people into them!

    December 20, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. westward40

    I am frustrated with Congress, but am becoming frustrated with the administration. Every time Republicans make a decisive move that blocks progress (when the legislation leans toward the Dem approach) I hear very little from the President. Unless I'm tuning in to the wrong channel, I don't understand why the President isn't holding a press conference EVERY TIME this happens, if not weekly. Unfortunately, the general population, especially those on the right, aren't hearing our President respond to these situations in a timely manner and without the Fox News filter.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Robert

    Term limits, 1 House not 2 (Senate) get your butts in gear!!!!!!!!!!!!, Like many people here I am unemployed, have not had a job in 2 years (Engineering) and we expect these so called servants of the people to help us? I think the Rich will be okay, thanks to the Republicans. But, forget about getting my vote this election year!! Hang in there Middle class, it says in the good book, "The meek shall inherit the Earth" I think its time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
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