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. JMB

    I would like to see a term limit for our elected officials, also changes to their heath insurance and pensions; they should be in synch with the real world.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Christopher Bourne

    90% of the senate comes together with something that will at least keep it in place. John Bonehead calls it a good plan then backtracks when the far right complains. Grow some GONADS Bonehead. Your own party agreed in the senate to the plan and now you won't let it go to a vote in the House because you are afraid those of your party that are not right wing wackos will support it. Quit letting the minority control congress!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. millie


    December 20, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JOE

    There are so many areas where the Democrats are just flat out wrong on this, that one hardly knows where to start. They are jeopardizing the health of the Social Security Trust fund to get credit for a tax cut for those people who pay zero (and some less than zero) in income taxes. They try to get only a two month extension so they do not have to approve the pipeline, which needs to be approved both from the standpoint of our energy needs and the jobs it would create, but they do not want to anger the radical environmentalists. However, a two month extension makes business planning difficult, and that could further harm the economy, but then what do they care about that when they can always blame the Republicans. Senator Reid is uncompromising in his left-wing agenda, but he trys to throw the blame for the log-jam on the Republicans.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • SosorryforJoe

      Joe, you obviously get all your talking points from Fox News. That's great! Now, try re-reading what you wrote, research your facts (e.g. it is not "radical environmentalists" that oppose the Keystone pipeline. It's pretty much everyone that doesn't watch Fox News. Plus the oil gained is intended to be sold overseas. So much for that vaunted "energy independence!), then try again. The Reid and McConnell agreed on a two-month extension so the one-year deal could be worked out over time. But even the fact that the GOP is tying the pipeline to a tax cut extension bill doesn't give you pause? I'm pretty sure this is an "earmark" all you talking points people love to despise. Get your story straight, then maybe you won't look so foolish in life.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • BinFL

      Joe, you need to get outside your little Faux bubble. You don't have the facts straight at all. The Dems wanted a year's extension from the start but wanted to pay for it with a very tiny tax increase to millionaires but that was a no go to the Repubs/Tea Partiers. The 2 month extension was a bi-partisan compromise in the Senate to allow more time after the holidays to discss the longer extension again. The Repubs in the House threw in the pipeline which has NOTHING to do with jobs – IT IS ALL ABOUT ANOTHER GIVEAWAY TO THE OIL INDUSTRY!!!

      December 20, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      The point of the matter is that Republicans are hypocrites. They say Americans should pay less taxes but when push comes to shove and the Democrats are trying to accomplish just that they say, "Well lets just talk about this". Yet there was no argument from Republicans when they passed the Bush Tax cuts. They say cut spending. . . . unless it's for the military. No more big government but lets fund a freaking pipeline to create jobs. Hmmmmmm sound a little familiar? Obama 2008. Remember that litle thing called a stimulus to create jobs. Where do the Republicans think the money for this pipeline is comming from? It's being paid for by none other than, yes, you guessed it, the American public. I am just sick of the Dems always conceding. Why not let the Republicans come up with all the ideas and the Dems can be the yeah or neayers. I am so frustrated!!!!!!

      December 20, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • J'Rod

      Joe, with the statements youve just made indicates that youre either 1) "Parroting" talking points youve heard from somewhere before or 2) You're retarded (pick one).... For instance, your example of the pipeline fiasco the Republicans are trying to pull off... Did you know that the vast majority of those jobs are 1) Going to be produced in Canada for Canadians and 2) The ones that are being delivered to Americans were counted by years not number of jobs being held (numerical smoke and mirrors) and 3) Lastly, which isn't so bad, these jobs are shovel ready "short termed" fixes; not root cause. In short Joe, think for yourself, do some research and THEN be a big boy and make a real decision. Good luck

      December 20, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Joe you are really misinformed. Just about everyone thinks that there needs to be much more research done on this proposed pipeline. Also, after the pipeline is built they estimate a total of 600 permanent jobs. Even a blow hard like you must recognize that that wont fix anything. Have a nice day.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • wangfeihong

      Joe Walsh wanabe?

      December 20, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      I really pray and hope you don't really believe in everything you have just written. If your writeup isn't a practical joke, then i am sincerely sorry for you.

      December 20, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Brian

    The last congress led by the Democrats achieved more than any Congress since FDR. This Tea Party House has been a complete disaster. Time to vote these useless idiots out!

    December 20, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      Heh Brian, did it ever occur to you that for many of us the Less Congress does the better off we are. I'm sure you need the government to work to grind out your gimmees. But for us producers in society we are best served by a government that stays out of the way. We are blessed to have those Tea Party representatives out there slowing down the progressive agenda of Loot and Largess

      December 20, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOE

      Let's see, the last time the Democrats had both houses of Congress, they could not even pass a budget. They did cram a health care bill that the public did not want down the throats of the American people, passing a bill that few if any members of congress had even read, and that the Speaker of the House said that we needed to pass so we could find out what was in the bill. Talk about idiots, that is shear insanity to pass a bill that you do not even know what is in it so you can find out whats in it!! Bring on a Congress controlled by the Tea Party rather than these far left extremists that control the Senate!

      December 20, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • BinFL

      @Kevin – So you don't mind that your "hard earned" dollars are paying the big fat salaries & benefits to these DO-NOTHINGS?? People that think like you amaze me. You gripe and complain about your money going to benefit the least of our society but you have no qualms paying a do nothing Congress and paying for illegal wars!! Get a grip!!!

      December 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      @Bin – I would like very much for the government to get about the business of disassembling the nanny state that currently exists in this country and that takes enormous amounts of my money to be redistributed to every loser with their hand out. But I can't stop that right now. If the best the Tea Party can do is bring the wheels of the liberal loot machine to a halt then I am grateful for that.

      I hope people start to realize that this country can't continue to yoke the industrious to the insatiable needs and wants of the indolent.

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

      Joe, you are the proof that most Americans believe every ad they see on TV. Stop being angry and get informed.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. youmustbekidding

    It is becoming more and more clear that Boehner cannot influence the wacko Tea Baggers in the House who seem hell bend on destroying the country. Like it or not, the majority of the House Republicans might actually have to try to find a way to work with the more conservative end of the Democratic Party (they do exist) and the Independents in order to get anything done. Once the Tea Baggers figure out that "my way or the highway" tactics removes them from the negotiation, they will come back willing to work on compromises. Boehner is getting what he deserves here because he's been such an enabler of this toxic political philosophy. Yep, this time Obama has you outflanked. The House Republicans are wearing the failure to reach even a short term compromise. Shame on you.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Steve

    If Pro is the opposite of Con... what is the opposite of Progress ??

    December 20, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • RememberDuaneAllman


      December 20, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      nice one! nice indeed!

      December 20, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. dmoblack

    I would suggest everyone consider a mass exodus of both the republican and democratic parties. Everyone reregister Independent and come November the American dollars that are wasted on politicians will perhaps diminish and those lifetime political fence sitters will all have to wait and guess which way the election will go for we as a people will refuse to vote along party lines...and may the best man or woman win all races.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • randy coleman

      I agree, Ron Paul has business getting elected than anyone else that speaks about running. All of the old farts that have made a living off us for so long in government needs ousted ASAP

      December 20, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Good Idea

      I'd love to vote independent, we just need some decent candidates. Ron Paul is not. He's an idiot. And he votes lock-step with the other Repubs. Where's the independence there?? If I saw a Congressman truly vote independently, I might vote, depending on what he voted for and against, obviously.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • carla

      I'm liking that idea

      December 20, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bryan

      Good Idea,

      You obviously have NO IDEA about Ron Paul. He does not vote in lockstep with the GOP. If you actually did your homework and learned about him, you'd know he is a constant thorn in the side of the mainstream GOP. The GOP will, in fact, do everything in their power to make sure Paul does not get the nomination.

      I encourage you to learn about the man from independent, accurate sources. In case you're wondering, CNN and Fox News are independent nor accurate. They're mouthpieces with incredibly low editorial standards.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Michael

    After prolonged consideration I have concluded that you are not capable of completing the job that you were hired for. Your services are no longer needed and we will seek representation elsewhere.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Louise

    It's not just the Republicans. It's not just the Democrats. It's the un-civil, inconsiderate, self-serving House and Senate!

    December 20, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mark

    Continue to follow the liberal media leash.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Puppet

      Keep coming up with imaginary evidence to support your position!

      December 20, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Salnpgh

    Once again they don't agree on anything. It's the end of the year, we are all working and they go on vacation for another month. People will lose their unemployment, the payroll tax cut isn't finished, no budget...shall I go on? Most of all they are getting paid by the American People and work part time. If I didn't finish my work I'd be fired! So why can't we fire Congress???
    Merry Christmas America!

    December 20, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Corpus Christian

      Salnpgh – we can fire them VOTE them out.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dave B

    How pathetic are our elected leaders. Voters need to wake up and get ther Republicans out of control

    December 20, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jeff

    This is getting out of control. Congress (especially the House) has lost all perspective of what we, the American people have hired them to do, pass legislation for the good of the American people. This partisan bickering and party posturing has taken control of our elected "leaders." They are no longer interested in making the lives of ordinary Americans better, only prolonging their party's hold on power. We need to hold legislators accountable to the American people by punishing those who obstruct legislation. Let's start holding their back pay and cutting their benefits until they start doing the job we've elected them to do. Remember, if you don't vote, you have no right to complain about the mess Congress has created.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. George

    What exactly is the GOP trying to do? They want to extend the Bush era tax cuts "forever" for the wealthiest Americans and then tie in the XL Keystone pipeline so the oil companies can make more money and receive more tax breaks and then they want to let the payroll tax cust expire for the majority of Americans who by the way are struggling through the worst economy since the great depression. Unbelievable!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
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