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. Roy Whitaker

    Thank goodness we can vote in Nov. 2012. Let us unite and throw all house and senate (that us up for reelection) out of office.

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

    Enough already!
    We the people have been ignored, bamboozled and generally pushed to the side by this Congress.
    Wars bleeding us of national treasure & lives yet itching for more, Military Industrial Complex reinforcing its hold on this nation, lobbies & special interest ruling the roost. The time tested game plan of propaganda, lies & half truths, fear & hate mongering continues. Mainstream controlled media playing along.
    A people scared are easiest to rule.
    Teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, declining as a global power.
    Time to wake up folks, sip coffee , sit up & take notice.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. arnie schmith

    The grassroots "Occupy" movement has been criticized for having no agenda and no leadership...much like both houses of Congress...and the occupy movement works for a lot less money. Let's kick these bums out and let the other guys "Occupy" for a while.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jim

    Between the DEMISPENDS and the REPUBLICANTS what is a voter to do?

    December 20, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bozon

    This isn't about congress.. it's about republicans.. who've decided that roadblocking everything obama or the dems do will ensure more seats and the presidency.. I love it when these idiots shoot themselves in the head.. they are SUPPOSED to put the good of them people and the country ahead of their partisan b.s. but no.. they can't miss an opportunity to screw the people.. and that rage will kill them next november and good riddance!

    December 20, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. comandi59

    Everyone knows that the 2 month extension was a stop-gap measure that would be revistied after the recess. But, Republican beat up the Democrats with 167.00 tax relief, compared to the 1000.00 for the full year. It's just another version of the shell game–Republicans know the 2 months would be extended for the entire year. Funny, Republicans are opposed to a 1% tax surcharge on the wealthy, but, by digging in their heels, show they are in favor of a tax hike for 160 million middle to low income Americans. GOP showing it is the party of the wealthy, not all Americans?

    December 20, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dalton Musgrave

    Through 66 years I've stuck by my country. Now I think those running my country should be arrested for treason!

    December 20, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Rogelio

    Occupy Congress;
    Go ahead occupy any seat as the one that currently occupies it is not doing anything with it.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rabbit One

    let me be abundantly clear – the governments of all nations have never had faith in the people – in fact they deem us not intelligent enough – thus they rule by elite minorities – and our freedoms of speech and of protest are our only tools to govern ourselves in small doses – the better way to govern yourself is to govern your own mind and body – live the life you want and be charitable to ours and loving as best you can – this worry about the govt is largely illusory because those minorities are always going to cling to power and try to oppress us – but their oppression is powerless when we are indifferent to their stupidities and happy with our small realities of life – like going in the woods and not have the govt there with you as you enjoy God's nature

    December 20, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. William R. Suhr

    Unfortunately, the republicans see this as another opportunity to try and extract more reductions in the federal budget that will hurt the middle class more. They keep saying that this is what the President wants.What the president wants is fairnes and that in order to get us out of the mess that the republicans created evrybody should pay their fair share.

    I agree, I can't wait to the 2012 elections. i hope that every republican in the house and senate loses.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rasa

    Can we just fire these people who are incompetent and cannot do their jobs? Anyone else who approaches work in the manner Congress does would be fired rather quickly. Why do these people continue in their jobs and why do we allow it????

    December 20, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. eman2a

    Why don't we just dissolve all political parties? That way the Republicans can't blame the Democrats and the Democrats can't blame the Republicans since there won't be any. And since no one will have to walk the party line, they must each BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN ACTIONS!!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Duster60

    I barely make anything per month, too young to collect social security. I don't like the idea that some of my under $900 per MONTH income is going into their coffers. I may just let my voter registration lapse and not vote for anyone at the next presidential election. They're all buffoons.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rob

    Come on people wake up, Do you really believe Congress is really going to not pass this tax bill. This is nothing but politcal gameanship on both sides of the house. You all point fingers like you know everything about the government. I say lets just wait and see what happens when they go to compromise. If this bill does not pass then I say they should print the names of all of the senators and Congress men who voted against this and then you all should make your decision on which way you vote next year. I find it extremely comical how everyone blamess the GOP and Democrats because they are scared we only have 11 days left till earth comes to a end. Hey think of it this way, we are actually seeing our elected officals having to forgo their Christmas vacation and do what they are getting paid for. I say it is about time. I hope they are stuck in session till December 31st. The bottom line is there will be a agreement, we just have to wait and see who gives in first. Mean while you all can continue being arm chair quaterbacks because the sky is falling. Some of you sheep will vote for these same fools who are the problem instead of demanding these elected officials represnt the will of the people.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gotobeme

      I agree with your insight 100%.!! But for those liberals out there, just remember that the Demo controlled Senate is on vacation right now......while the House is still in termoil over this issue of "robbing future social security benefits".....FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE.!!!! Or better said the little "SHEEPLE" of this country.......when are people going to wake up and realize there is no more free lunch..? And what makes anyone think that 2 months of more bickering by these incompetent boobs is going to produce anything GOOD.!!! GOD help us all.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      December 20, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Danielle C

    Congress – The Grinches who stole Christmas. When will these children grow up and realize we sent them to DC to 'represent' all of us, not just the monied few who keep filling their coffers??????????????

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