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. Sam

    Hang Boehner and Cantor!

    December 20, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • valwayne

      That won't fix the problem, because the real failure of Leadership is in the White House, not Congress!

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

      valwayne, you just fell into the trap. The GOP is doing this to make Obama look bad. He is of an entirely different branch of government: the executive: and cannot pass bills. Another way to tell that this is true is by watching how Congress is trying to annihilate the Executive branch by not funding it.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bogus

    We Americans have a long history of favoring split government – the legislative branch keeping the executive branch in check and vice versa. Looks like this approach is fatally flawed when it turns out that the majority in one branch really wants to get nothing done as a strategy to gain more power. The parliamentary system has a much betterr way of dealing with the kind of intransigence we are experiencing in Congress. Short of changing the system, the only sloution is to vote the Repuiblicans out.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. James Seigle

    The answer on how to control congress is to limit terms. Not by hoping the will pass a law but by our vote. After 2-3 election cycles they will get the idea that their days are numbered unless they work towards a better country. And if we start today sending congress countdown clocks that tell them today when their jobs end then we the people will have the higher power. Would it not be great to be able to fire your congressman or senater?

    December 20, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dennis

    Eight years of Bush and six years of Republican controlled Congress got us into this mess and they have nerve to preach to all of us how to fix things. I never got involved before, but swear I'm going to encourage anyone who will listen to voite for Obama and against any and all GOP stooges.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Skeptical Voter

      It took both sides of the isle to get us here, along with a boat load of career Politicians. Time for Term limits, 2 terms maximum for a lifetime. Time to end the power play and special interest bloated bills.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. fedup

    are you kidding me, hasn't the democrats been in charge of the Senate for 8 or more years? btw am democrat. they (congress) has not past a federal budget on time in 10 years. gov't is supposed to have a budget passed by Oct 1st. do you realize how much money in delay of ocntracts this is costing. do we really need 47 ZARS (appointed by Presidents) and their staff. who in the helll autorized their salaires. Maybe we should put Washington DC's raises, benefits, leave and travel on the ballots of each state. See how much money we safe. Why is their pay on Federal payroll don't they work from their states, should be budgetted by states and then we get to decide if THEY get a cut in pay, make them live with the same rules we live with. OOPS sorry no state money mr congressman your pay is frozen. go get a real job or that's right there are non. REALLY!!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. 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. What a joke.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. kbvick

    They should all be voted out! I am so sick of the behavior that amount to that of a temer tantrum. VOTE EVERYONE OF THEM WHO BEHAVE THIS WAY OUT!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Lionel Brown

    As a retired businessman I know that decisions made with a gun at your head generally leads to poor decision making. Pass the 60 day extension, and use the intervening time to make a better bill for a longer period of time, Don't tie the bill to other extraneous matters to obfuscate and confuse, such as the Keystone pipeline. But isn't that exactly what Boehner and his cohorts are trying to do, sow confusion and incite anger? To get votes. Let's not be fooled by the rhetoric!

    December 20, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Fernando

    The newer House Republicans have maintained a vision that has apparently has not been appreciated by Democrats and many of the more moderate Republicans.
    These "Monkey Wrench Republicans" apparently view themselves as successful legislators only if they bring dysfunction and destruction to the nation while Obama is in office. They have redefined "negotiation" to mean absolute and total capitulation from the Democrats. This is not an exaggeration.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jack_of_Arts

    I've said this once, and I'll say it again: Impeach each and every member of Congress outta office RIGHT NOW! I refuse to wait until next November to get rid of this ineffectual, impotent group of menchildren any longer!!

    December 20, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Gary E.

    It is time for Americans to start showing their displeasure throught acts of civil disobedience. Perhaps a million citizen march on Washington that surrounds the Captiol while Congress is in session is the place to start. The citizens should gridlock the city and refuse to leave until Congress actually does its job.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. notatall

    Throw the "middle class" under the bus, Congress. Raise our taxes GOP. Do anything and everything to protect the millionaires. What kind of Congress do we have?

    December 20, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. valwayne

    What you see here is the greatest Failure of Presidential Leadeship in our nation's history. Obama doesn't want compromise or solutions he just wants to try and create reelection campaign issues. Obama has inflicted so much damage on our nation in 3 short years that he is desperately trying to change the subject. Our nation's problem isn't Congress. Our nation's problem is the total failure of Obama at all levels. Can anyone see this mess going on an under Reagan? Of course not! Nov 2012 can't get here soon enough! Let's hope we can survive Obama until then!!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • notatall

      Ok, we get you hate Obama. But, most on here know enough about government to know all of this is not his fault. He is Commander in Chief and has done a great job at freeing Libya and getting our troops out of Iraq. He supported the Health Bill that Congress passed: he did not have the power to make it law. He is trying to clean up a mess he inherited from GWBush. Remember: Reagan created a deficit that Bill Clinton cleaned up. Boehner and friends will do anything to keep Obama from getting credit for cleaning up Bush's mess.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. janicem

    Pink slip to Congress, Lets start the "Pink Slip Movement"

    December 20, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jianna

      I think from the comments here we are all ready to buy pitchforks and go after the Congress and lobbyist while we are at it. Yes, we will fire them and remove any and all pensions and healthcare now and for the future. Let them eat dirt! Give them a little taste of what the rest of go through. You want to play hard ball GOP? – let the games begin since there are at least 95% of us and only at best 5% of you – hey bring it on you little worms.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. penel9

    Who else can have a job that they so very miserably cannot manage to do but still get paid and receive all the perks but our Congress? Can an entire Congress be impeached? Or is that too obvious? I would not invest in a poorly run company but I'll get my tax bill come April. Something is bad wrong.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
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