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. Pat S

    If congress cares about the American people they will refuse to take their salary until they use some diplomacy and legislate. John Beyner should be replaced along with Eric Cantor. The two of them are totally ineffective. We need some patriotic prople in congress that care about constiuents and don't sign pledges to wealthy indiviuals.

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

    It is imperative that we throw these idiots out of office in 2012. Note to Congress: WE DON'T BELIEVE YOU! Note to John Boehner: HERD THE MORONS IN YOUR PARTY AND GET SOMETHING DONE! Note to the President: YOU HAVE MY VOTE IN 2012!

    December 20, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. @disgusted in wisconsin

    What are you complaining about? Adultery is still against the law in Wisconsin. Some of US live in states where it's legal now.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mike

    Term Limits

    December 20, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Leland

    Senator Reid & President Obama: CALL THEIR BLUFF and do not cave! Please. This is like a Buddhist Gift to you guys. As much as I would dislike my payroll taxes going up at the end of the year, to me, it is a small price to pay in order to continue to expose these jokers in the House for who they really are to the American voting public. Can't WAIT for Election Day! Woo Hoo! Bye, Bye GOP "do nothings".

    December 20, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Chuck

    Something needs to be done. Our political system is broken. Our political leaders, rather than working together for the common good of the American people spendtheir efforts on trying to undermine the other party. Our president has done nothing to eliminate in this situation as well. His "us vs. them" mentality shows a complete lack of leadership and wny willingless to work through political lines. We can no longer trust our elected officials to do the right thing. We must make drastic changes to our political structure if this country is going to return to world prominence. We need term limits at every level of government. No one should be able to make politics a career. One 6-year term and your out. Let them do the job they were elected to do without having to spend most of their time pandering to special interests so they can win reelection. Get the money out of politics. Money leads to corruption. Money leads to political influence.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Russ Penman

      Hey Chuck what exactly can Obama do when the senate vetos everything? Don't you actually think the american people are stupid for allowing the senate to be run by republican's after electing a democratic president? I mean you want to blame the senate and the president but sorry Obama can't fix in 3 years what Bush screwed up in 8 and then add on a republican led senate who would rather show blatent racism than to support the president and help fix this country. It's people like you that is the main reason this country has gone to hell.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Well said, Chuck....thanks. Partisanship has paralyzed our political process. Our current political leaders continue to try to solve major issues with short term stop-gaps, and appear to be operating with very little foresight. I struggle to understand how they attempt to solve issues with last minute negotiations....the private sector would replace senior corporate leaders if they operated in this fashion as a standard practice. Term limits is a good answer, and a President that really can build consensus vs causing deep partisan divide would be a good place to start.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. search for sanity

    I agree, this is completely rediculous that the majority is getting screwed to line a congressmens pocket.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JayT

    With the exception of Dec 25th, make them work through the holiday season. Ya know... just like most other Americans do.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. DDanny1

    On July 10, 2011 Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was on Fox News Sunday and said the following "Making President Obama a one-term President ismy single most important political goal along with every active Republican in the country"
    And people say you can't trust what a politician says. The Republicans are going to do whatever it takes to beat Obama. They are now realizing their candidates are such an incredibly bad joke, they are going to need to go big or go home. This little tempest in a teapot is NOTHING. This year I predict we'll see the GOP do something that will go down in history as the biggest betrayal of Democracy in history.
    Remember, you heard it here first.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Skeptical Voter

    Ever since Obama has been President our Congress has been a joke, a laughing stock to the world. Every opportunity is taken to prove this.

    A two month extension will do nothing if, over the next two months, the issue is not revisited with a more definitive outcome. We are being punished on the one hand by decreasing our deposit to SS while utilizing those funds in a bad economy on the other. We have robbed Peter to pay Paul. Sooner or later we will take it in the shorts yet again yet Congress has yet to even so much as bend over.

    The Payroll Tax Cut extension should be a totally separate item from the Keystone oil pipeline. This is how Congress "plays." If I can't get it my way THIS way, I will get it my way another way or you can't play in my sandbox. Extend the Payroll Tax Cut for 6 months. By that time we will all have a better idea where the economy stands. Authorize the Keystone Oil Pipeline and put 10's of thousands of people back to work. Buying will increase, payroll tax rolls will build up with an eye to permanent employment for many. Somebody is going to have to blink first. Banks, business and jobs should all be blinking together.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dear Congress

    Please insist that President Obama allow the federal reserve to be audited for the first time. Thank you. -Mrs. Clarke's 7th grade civics class.

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

    Pick a third party, and vote for good ideas. Only 9% of us approve of congress.... Why don't you just vote them out and stop whining.

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

    I will most assuredly vote against anyone currently in office. None of them are worth the time or effort it takes to read this article, although it shows just how they like to play games with the American worker or those unemployed.

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


    December 20, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. J Green

    I have been hearing for years that our Social Security System is in trouble and yet the clowns in Washington have cut the funding of it. Now they are arguing on whether or not to continue the cut. Sooner or later they won't be funding it at all, then where will we be. I say discontinue the cut in order to help save Social Security.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
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