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. loathstheright

    What I can't understand is, how can so many Americans be so blinded by the Conservative Media that the Republicans can just get away with any lie what so ever...they are never challenged on them on the Sunday shows, no reporter ever points out the obvious lie, or misrepresentation they spew. The Republicans have become the terrorist Anti-American party, just vile.

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

      When did things go so badly wrong. Think back 2 years ago when the Tea Party back GOP came in with a mandate to stop Obama at the expense of the American People. Its not all of congress its the Tea Party back GOP that's causing all of the problems. Bohner has the backbone of a jellyfish when it comes to the GOP. The ultra conservatives are destroying this country. Nothing will get done in this country until you get rid of the ultra conservative tea baggers who think they know whats best for all of us. Dont tax the rich, Dont build roads, Dont invest in education, tax the middle class but dont tax the rich. This only make sense in the fantasy land of Fox news.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Michele

    What has become of our country? Wouldn't the founding fathers be so very disappointed in our government now!! Not a second thought about the MAJORITY of Americans that are hurting from not being able to pay bills, buy food, go to the Dr., dentist, optomitrist, to even buying a gift for a loved one. when was the last time any politician went on vacation and where did they get to go? How about the average American....bet if they have ever been they haven't been for many years now...Maybe the politicians should just give up their salaries for the next five years so that we can turn the economy around...bet it wouldn't even take that long. Demand jobs be brought back to the U.S.A. so that we can all go back to work. When you call the 'help' lines for banks, cable company, telephone company...have you ever asked them where they are located when you finally get through to a human being? Have you ever wondered where some of the highest selling toothpaste is made? What about the tennis shoes you are wearing...where were they made? Are the roads and highways around your hometown full of potholes? Are the bridges crumbling? Is the school in your town missing more & more days due to budget shortfalls? How can we educate our children when the are out of school more than they are in it? So many questions,,,so few answers....

    December 20, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. cindy

    Is there a single Republican with the bones to stand up for the Middle Class and vote for what's best for the country, not the party?

    December 20, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Disinterested

    This country's going down the crapper because we're being led by incompetent nincompoops who only care about politics. Let's get some real public servants in there!!! Anybody, I mean anybody who tows the party line has just lost my vote.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Brian S

    This is yet another example of how the entire government is completely out of touch with the people that they are supposed to support! The only reason the 2 months got approved was so that they could go on vacation. And the only reason it is being rejected is because the REPS are trying to get in better with their base. It is all a game to them and we are the pieces. And when they lose us they will just go out and get more (read the people that can afford their games!)

    December 20, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. mikeisme

    I'm not so concerned about a 'lack of action' when what I see is the right sticking to their guns and telling the left to go blow if they can't get their act together on spending. BOTH sides of the isle are idiots and this country is going to fall if the ALL don't do something about spending.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Meritocrat

    Watching the debate in the House...such hubris on the part of the majority. Here's my question...Did the Senate minority leader (McConnell) go into negotiations with the Senate Majority leader (Reid) without knowing what the House's red lines were? NO! Senator McConnell got everything Boehner asked for – EVERYTHING! But afterwards, Speaker Boehner's Tea-Party extremists decided to move the goal-posts (again). I can't wait for the American voters to hand Speaker Boehner and his tantrum throwing Tea Party toddlers their rear-ends (heads inserted). Merry Christmas Nancy.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jerry Bernhard

    I agree with everything posted about the congress. Why attache the pipeline to a payroll tax. Simply ridiculous and typical politics. LET'S START A MOVEMENT LIKE THE MIDDLE EAST COUNTRIES AND CALL IT "AMERICAN SPRING". Politics sicken me.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Terry

    I blame representatives, those who elected them, and the media, who refuse to understand and emphasize that our political system REQUIRES compromise. Ask the question "Do you understand that split government will require you to pass a bill that compromises your ideology?!!!" Will you vote them out if they say "I will not compromise to get something passed"?

    December 20, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Rob

    Yeah sure it all the Republicans fault-right. The dumocrats having nothign to do with any of this-yeah sure. I cannot believe we have democratic congress talking about burning Christmas trees to make her point. What a joke. Last I checked the democrats have not passed a budget in 3 years but its all the reupublicans fault. Sheep is what democrats are. Bah Bah easliley lead to the slaughter. What ignorant fools you all are to believe these azz clowns.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Matt

    You can blame the House and GOP all you want but they are actually still doing their jobs and trying to get a real solution worked out, not just passing some joke two month extension so that they can start their vacations earlier and worry about the problem later.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. yannaes

    Maybe we need to look close at those that voted them into office. They are playing politics as usual.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Douglas Edwards

    GUTLESS COWARDS! REFORM TAX CODE? NOT EVEN IF THEIR LIFE DEPENDED UPON IT. IT IS NEVER ABOUT WHAT IS GOOD FOR THE COUNTRY AS A WHOLE BUT WHAT IS GOOD FOR ME. HOW AM I GOING TO GET RE-ELECTED?
    BUSH TAX CUTS WHILE TRYING TO FUND TWO WARS? WHAT AM I STUPID? THE MATH DOESN'T ADD UP. OH WAIT
    I CANT REPEAL THEM I WON'T GET RE-ELECTED. BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE NEED TO WHAT IS BEST FOR THE COUNTRY START SERVING THE PEOPLE INSTEAD OF THEMSELVES. NO WAIT THAT WOULD MAKE TO MUCH SENSE AND HOW AM I GOING TO GET WEALTHY DOING WHAT IS RIGHT? HEY COME ON I THREW A TRILLION DOLLARS OUT THE WINDOW TRYING TO CREATE TEMPORARY JOBS THAT WAS GOOD RIGHT? OK THAT POT HOLE IS FILLED NOW WHAT? TRY GETTING A SURPLUS(WHAT IS THAT?) THEN FIX ROADS AND BRIDGES. HERE IS AN IDEA HOW ABOUT AT LEAST ATTEMPT. TO BRING BACK CORPORATIONS FROM FOREIGN LANDS? OH WAIT THAT WOULD MEAN CHANGING THE TAX CODE. SORRY CANNOT DO THAT. BUT DOES THE FAULT LIE ONLY WITH THE GUTLESS COWARDS? NO THEY JUST PLAY THE GAME THAT PEOPLE ALLOW. THEN AGAIN WHEN ONLY HALF OF THE VOTING PUBLIC VOTES. WELL AS THE SAYING GOES "YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR." FOR THE NEXT ELECTION INSTEAD OF VOTING FOR THE SAME COWARD PRESS THE BUTTON FOR SOMEBODY DIFFERENT. RO TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT AND VOTE!! CAN IT GET ANY WORSE? I THOUGHT THIS COUNTRY WAS ABOUT SALUTING THE BRAVE, THE HONEST, AND WHO PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT AFRAID TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT. GEE HOW WOULD I GET WEALTHY DOING ALL THAT? I WOULD RATHER HAVE MONETARY VALUE THAN BE "RICH IN SPIRIT" A GOOD CONSCIENCE. HEY NOTHING WRONG WITH GREAT MONETARY VALUE. HOW ABOUT DOING THE RIGHT WAY INSTEAD OF IN THE BACKROOM. STOP STEALING FROM THE POOR (THERE IS NO MIDDLE CLASS OR HAS IT BEEN REDEFINED?) UNTIL YOUR COFFERS ARE OVERFLOWING. OH WHAT THEM MORTGAGES WERN'T STEALING? BUT THAT WAS ALSO A TWO WAY STREET DRIVEN BY "GREED" IT WAS NOT JUST BAD POLITICIANS OR POLICIES THAT HAS DRIVEN THIS COUNTRY TO THE BRINK. GREED HAD THE STARRING ROLE. DOES THAT MEAN MY COLLEAGUES AND I HAVE TO LIVE WITHIN OUR MEANS? WHAT A NOVEL IDEA. IT IS NOT JUST THE "FAR RIGHT" OR THE "LEFT" IT IS EVERYONE. GREED DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE IT WILL CONSUME ANYONE WHO IS WILLING.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jerry brace

    Positively ridiculous behavour br Congress (House of Reps). They act more like children then adults that are supposed to "REPRESENT" the people. Out with them ALL!! I have given up voting for the Republicans, they make me sick; "Party before Country"!!

    December 20, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. grady

    IS IT TIME TO CLEAN HOUSE! RUN THE BUMS OUT...

    December 20, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
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