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. Ted

    I blame the gop primarily for the mess our country is in and they should be voted out of office.
    It's very apparent to me that the gop are trying a government take over by eliminating workers rights, limit people's ability to vote, hold job creation hostage, attack our courts, blind average hard working with social issues that do not create jobs, invoke religion into our government. Attack the the poor, the elderly and the middle class. Protect the industrial compound but destroy the middle class. WOW, AMERICA WAKE UP!

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

    In a recent Gallup Poll, 80% of the respondents said they wanted to get rid of this Congress. In the very next sentence, they were asked about keeping their congressman and 53% said that their congressman was okay and should be reelected.
    THAT'S

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

    Question: how do we get them out of Congress, when it's the same bums that run year after year. We don't get a choice when we go to vote.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dixie Independent voter

    It scares me to death when elected officials sign pledges to the private sector. Mr. Norquist is controlling our House of Representatives!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray

      Signing a pledge not to raise taxes is not the same as signing a pledge to the private sector. And by the way – what is so bad about the private sector?

      December 20, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Angry in PA

    Just written to Representative Pitts, PA:

    Representative Pitts:

    I find it shameful that you and the Republican caucus of the House of Representatives have decided to not take up the 2 month extension of the Social Security Tax Cut.

    Your actions are effectively making those who are having trouble making ends meet have more problems.

    A reminder to you sir: You work for me. Not the Republican Party.

    If you continue to participate in blocking this extension, I will take this into consideration when Election Day 2012 comes around. I will very likely vote for your opponent.

    You are an American First, a Republican Second. Do your job, or we'll add you to the unemployment line.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ray

    Wow – it looks like non-partisan CNN has become bash-the-Republicans central. With a readership that is overwhelmingly liberal – I guess you can't afford to do anything else. Harry Reid slamming the door on getting both chambers together for a compromise apparently deserves no criticism whatsoever.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg E

      I would suggest that the country is becoming a bash the GOP central. Don't forget the reason that Reid says pass what's on the table first is that McConnell killed the 1 year deal in the senate. OBTW, I thought the GOP were for less intrusive government, so why are they insisting on drug testing for unemployment benefits?

      December 20, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. carla

    Thought. If Congress insist in doing everything opposite of what the President wants to do, how about if Obama says the opposite of what he wants to do. Reverse Psychology 101

    December 20, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ed Z

    It's our fault, not congress. The solution is easy – vote all of them out. But voters always seem to blame the other 434 not their own so we keep getting what we deserve. Look in the voting booth mirror sheep!

    December 20, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. westward40

    I don't think people realize the scope of Fox News' reach. I keep hearing people on CNN's comment boards saying that the Republicans are "shooting themselves in the foot," etc. I live in So. Cal. and know more people who watch Fox than CNN or MSNBC. The majority of Americans are being told that this is the fault of an ineffective administration and political games by the Democrats, and they believe it. I am not at all confident that America is going to vote against the Republicans next year. The President and the Dems better start making a much stronger case for keeping their jobs, and actually speaking to the majority of Americans.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray

      So you are saying that most Americans are a bunch of stupid sheep who mindlessly accept everything they see on FoxNews – and it is only the enlightened minority (i.e. the Democrats and MSNBC watchers) – who can save us from Republicans who go to Washington with the express purpose of destroying the country and killing small children and elderly. This comments page looks more like a bunch of Democrat propaganda than a real conversation.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. charles

    House Leader Boehner is a dissappointment.This is what happens when you sell your soul to the tea party. Let me remind them that 2012 elections is fasy approaching. Fooled once, you will not fool me twice.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. citylightz900

    Why don't we just elect the "special interests' lobbyists" and cut out the middleman (congress)? Oh wait, we did that at the last election (congress).

    Small businesses are dying left and right, and congress can't get their hands out of their own pockets or the pockets of the "special interests groups".

    We need to throw them all out, every last one of them. Start fresh, with a clean slate, and with TERM LIMITS!

    December 20, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. William Marlowe

    All of the people in Congress, both House and Senate, should be banned from holding public office for the rest of their lives. These are the most corrupt egocentric bunch of crooks we have ever had in Congress and should be impeached, ALL OF THEM! I say lets start an Congress Impeachment Party to remove and ban every single one of them for LIFE!

    December 20, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Searfoss

    Boehner and Cantor are out of touch with the American people. They and are the two biggest obstructionist in this Congress and the Republican Party.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. patrick lyons

    I think it is criminal what these politicians are pulling -Boehner should step down because he is not effective or credible–the American People deserve better than this group of charade players. Hopefully all of these clowns will be voted out –it should be about the Amercian People and not a black or white issue–these bums should be ashamed of themselves and we should kick their asses (I mean cans) out of office one and for all–the media needs to do more to expose these fools.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norm Nelson

      I agree with your statement. I'm a wash in frustration over the two party system, it's simply not working for
      us, we aren't being represented on the issues. My vote is really going to be different this time out

      December 20, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • SpencerX

      Say it again! AMEN!

      December 20, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Rick

    Not only should they loose thir jobs. they should loose their retirement, pay ss, pay healthcare and fall back into the rank and file of all working class Americans

    December 20, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anthony U

      If they can find a job!

      December 20, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
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