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. momma to many

    I would say the GOP itself cannot be trusted. They care for the mega rich and the business community not the general public in this nation. It's too bad that rank and file citizens don't vote as consistently as the wealthy do. If they did then we would have a congress that represented the majority of citizens rather than being in the pockets of big business.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Boomer!

    Merry Christmas. Have a tax increase.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Barb

    Time to impeach Boehner he is absolutely worthless

    December 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ian Webster

    People, this isn't necessarily Congress, in a collective sense. This was the Republican-controlled House that did this. Let's remember that.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. disgusted in wisconsin

    I recommend we immediately fire every elected official in the country, top to bottom and replace them with the 14 million unemployed people. I think they would get the job done and for half the salary.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ray

    That's right Congress – keep spending the country into bankruptcy – or prepare to face the wrath of the Angry CNN LIberal Commenters!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      How about actually considering the cause of this. The stupid Bush tax cuts and his idiotic unfunded wars. Stop blaming liberals and focus on what really caused the current mess.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. sickandtired

    Congress will not react to the will of the people because there is something going on. Their behavior indicates that it doesn't matter what you think of them since this is the last Congress, the last President and the last Pope. So, you can threaten them all you want to no avail. They know it, but can't share it with you. The impending catastrophe is the only answer for their weird behavior...not even a black President can cause this much consternation. He doesn't respond to what they're doing because he's aware as well. If you look at it fatally, then it begins to make sense.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. mike

    everyones mad but will everyone vote?? these clowns know that the american people forget quickly everyone needs to vote and make it there job to get two other people who would'nt normally vote to vote. take it upon your self to make sure that TWO other people vote as they say I'M IN also if they are now in office there OUT dem rep doesn't matter "if your in your out"

    December 20, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ray

    Why can't Obama get these guys together at the White House and work out a deal if he's such a great bipartisan President?

    December 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharon

      Republicans only care about trying to make the president look bad and appearing to apease conservatives. The republicans continue to play their games

      December 20, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • JustMeAgain692

      Sharon, it's the same thing every non-sitting party to the White House has done for years upon years. GOP hated Carter the coward, then the Dems hated Reaganomics, the GOP hated Clinton, the Dem's hated both Bush's, and the GOP hates Obama.

      it's a viscious circle ... everyone wants to always believe their side is the only one that's right - but that's the WRONG way to think. Both sides have equal faults, both sides STINK beyond dirty socks. Sit back and think... Alot of folks posting on this board are condemning one side or the other for finger-pointing when they're doing the same exact thing.

      Seriously, think about it – and while you're at it, look at your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews and wish that you could help fix the enormous, recently QUADRUPLED deficit that they will inherit and have to pay - and their generations will be blaming the party they don't belong to.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. CCSOUR

    Congress just does not get it. Do some work. Payroll Tax Holiday was a farce from the begining and should not be passed this time, but to fool around and diddle with a 2 month extension makes it worse and more work for the business owner and anyone who does payroll. Fire them All.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Steve P

    Enough is enough! Vote all of them out of office; Republicans and Democrats alike. Vote in people who have no party affiliation with the Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, or Tea Partyers. Not one of them can be trusted. Populate the congress with randomly selected citizens if necessary, but get the current batch out! They are worthless to America!

    December 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Cassandra Chu

    ... this is all just a distraction from the mideast mess.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rich

    I have no idea why this is happening, but here is a FACT that everyone can chew on for a while:

    The total wealth of the Forbes 400 is $1.54 TRILLION DOLLARS, which is equal to the total wealth of the bottom 50% of Americans. That's right. 400 people in America have more cash than 150 million Americans.

    What do YOU think?

    December 20, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray

      Not sure your numbers are right – but I think that allowing people to have different outcomes is better than living in a society where everyone is forced to be equally poor and everything is stagnant. What do you envision? A society where we are all forced to be clones and more talented people are never allowed to earn more?

      December 20, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JJ

    Vote the Republicans out!!!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. barbara

    This is good news for our President. It clearly shows the Republican selfish , greedy and self serving agenda. It should
    serve to get Obama re-elected .. GOOD !

    December 20, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just a thought

      barbara – Actually, it demonstrates Obama's inability to lead. By no means do I disagree that Congressional Republicans are being selfish, but Democrats in Congress are also just as self-absorbed. Another very valid argument is that Obama is selfish – he's never in the Oval Office. Instead he's out on the road campaigning for his job while millions of Americans are unemployed. Pot meet kettle.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
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