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. bob

    Never mind the 'vote them out' BS. You won't do it. You don't have the guts. This they know. I have something easier for Americans to get behind. Easier is the key when dealing with Americans. DEMAND ALL MEMBERS OF CONGRESS RESIGN. Why? Because to get behind this you have to give up party loyalty and simpleness. You also have to want to end the problem once-and-for-all. In other words, the phony part of you Americans will have to think long and hard if you really want to end the problem, which I do not believe you do. I think you're all talk. Talk. Talk. Talk. So does congress. Thats why they don't care what you say or think. P a p a r a z z i n c d o t c o m.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Johnmac

    WHY ARE THEY KILLING SOCIAL SECURITY??? With SS in so much trouble, why in the world are they hurting it more by reducing contributions?

    December 20, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tony

    When did this country stop being a democratic form of government and fall into this quagmire of big PACs, gotcha politics, no compromises, my-way-or-the-highway, totally inept politicians who only work for what is benefiting them and not the country? Truly a pathetic lot! I may be able to sneak out of this life relatively unscathed, but God help my grandkids

    December 20, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • cindy

      When corporations gained "personhood". Somebody has to: 1. Make corporate lobbying illegal. 2. Limit the amount of money politicians can spend on a campaign. 3. Put a limit on corporate contributions for any given election cycle. You'll see our government become a real people's government real fast!

      December 20, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Drew

    The problem with this country is the partisan politics of Congress. It is an embarrassment to the American people that these people are playing games that are hurting the people they represent. I, personally, would like to see the installation of term limits and financial disclosure for the lobbyist dealings that are prevailant inthe Congress. It is time to vote out these bums and put in new blood on a one term basis,

    December 20, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Matt in Atl

    Lemme get this straigt.. The Republicans think that "Trickle Down" works, but maintain that "Trickle Up" is a lie? If Henry Ford were alive today, he would drive his model T through the halls of congress in a rage. Has the saying "those that forget history are doomed to repeat it" ever been more true. The American middle class was almost EXCLUSIVELY created by paying the employees a fair enough wage so that they could buy the fruits of their labor and therefor pump that income back into the economy. How can the union busting, anti minimium wage, anti child labor, pro payroll tax, anti capitol gains tax, anti Buffett movement party look at themselves in the mirror? As my grandmother, God rest her soul, would say... You kiss your children with that mouth?

    December 20, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • cindy

      Cheers to your Grandmother!

      December 20, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ed Quesada

    The Replubicans are digging thier own political grave. The voters will remember in November.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jianna

      And many year thereafter. What a bunch of sickening self serving delusional facists.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tim G

    As we enter the 2012 election years, it seems that the politicians in Washington have finally forced our hand. The fact is that neither party can work with the other in a bi-partisan manner, soooooooooooooooo the American public will have to pick ONE party to put into office in November. We'll each need to pick the ONE party that will dominate the House, Senate and White House. THEN and probably one then, will Washington start to actually get something done. Americans will need to make a hard CHOICE concerning the ONE party to represent you. Next step is to get rid of all the Lobbyists. The Person in office does not seem to matter any longer, just the Party in Power.
    Thanks, The Founding Fathers (signed: Ben Franklin)

    December 20, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      The force is strong with this one. Get real. Do you actually think for one minute that Congress is going to one party. The probklem is we Americans dont have the will power to step up to the plate and demand our elected officials do there jobs. How many times do you here it Repubs or Democrats fault but not my Congressman. It is all of them. They start off with the best intensions and eventually forget what they are elected to do. Represent the people.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. catandmouse

    Job-Creators? What is that? Congress needs term limits. I will not vote for anyone currently in office. Fat cats getting fatter and fatter.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Fardarter

    Let's hope this serves as a lesson to voters. Send home the obstructionist Republicans. Their only aim is to take down the only President who cares to do anything for the country's majority. The only reason why any Republicans are elected to office in the US is the un-democratic, inequitable, tyrannical system that allows states to exclude voters from the polls on the basis of technicalities. America is NOT a democracy. It is an oligarchy of the wealthy, mostly retired, small-towners whose only goal is to exclude as many as possible from civic life. If you voted Republican, you are responsible for the abuse of the working class and the majority that works. The people who voted for the T-Party extremists need to be reminded that this impasse is their doing.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dee

    I'm a registered Independent voter but I'm sick and tired of the media's political spin that both Democrats and Republicans are at fault for this mess! Bottom line: There are 100 votes in the Senate (which is split pretty much half and half between Dems and Repubs) and this tax cut extension received 90 of the 100 VOTES!!! That almost NEVER happens in the Senate! That means the majority of Republicans in the Senate voted YES for this bill!

    It is as plain as the nose on your faces that the Republican House (led by the newly elected Tea Party members) are to blame for this entire mess and anyone who says anything otherwise doesn't know what the heck they're talking about or is flat out lying! These people could care less about fairness and helping the poor and the middle class. All they care about is getting President Obama out of office and they will throw their own mothers under a train to make it happen! Period! As my Grandfather says, "Tell the truth and shame the devil!"

    December 20, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Are you crazy. So you would rather have a two month plan than a 12 month plan. Sorry to say but your grandfather raised a fool. Maybe instead of giving you statment he should have been teaching you math. Go a head and join the bunch who wantt o just kick the can down the road as our economy continue to go deeper into the toilet.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • BinFL

      @Rob – You are really missing the big picture. The Dems from the start wanted a one year extension and wanted to pay for it by a very minimal tax increase to millionaires which was rejected by the Repubs. So, the Dems compromised and gave that up and worked with McConnell's bunch to come up with a short term extension so that the issue could be revisited when they return next year. Boehner also agreed with this but now has gone against it. Please keep up with the events before spouting falsehoods and criticisms.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Matt in Atl

    Isn't it time for the Republicans to start to bring up Abortion again. Maybe they can find the half dozen fraudulent voters in the elections last year and use them to justify the disenfranchisement of millions of minority, young, and elderly voters. That and just "maybe" complaining about the Mexicans will win them just ...one.... more election before hispanics out plurality anglo saxton born agains. All I know is that its going to be republican talking points about ANYTHING other than the tea party for the next 11 months. Because the truth hurts.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Trisha

    CONGRESS: You say you got a real solution - Well, you know - We'd all love to see the plan
    You ask me for a contribution - Well, you know - We're doing what we can

    CITIZENS: The clock is ticking for us to have our own "American Spring"

    December 20, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Brad Heuer

    I am for the pipline. I think its important to our country. But how dare the Republicans tack it to this issue. They are holding every working American hostage to push through the pipline. They should be 2 seperate issues. They are pushing my vote back to the Dems.

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

    I remember very very well when we play cowboys and indians,,,,,,one side was always the cowboys,,,,,the other side was always the indians.........with this Congress........the Senate are the cowboys......the House are the cowboys,aaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnddddddddd we the public,we the public,we the public are the Indians

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

    I am really tired of all of the sanctimonious complaints–by voters and the media–about Congress. Congress is doing exactly what they were elected to do. No one, especially the right wing, sent their congressman to Washington to compromise. Democrats sent Democrats to Washington to pursue the Democratic agenda. Republicans sent Republicans to Congress to pursue the Republican agenda. Any member of Congress who compromises will be de-elected in the next election, and they all know it. I have heard Tea Patsy after Tea Patsy state openly that they were sent to Washington to pursue smaller government and lower taxes, and therefore, they do not feel free to compromise. I don't agree with their point of view, but I do understand their allegiance to what they view as their principles. Let's face it folks, Congress is us. It was not elected by little green men from outer space.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Finally someone with some common sense. It is enlightening to see someone with the ability to think clearly. Thank you Publius Novus. The rest of these sheep will continue to fall in line and believe the huge amount of crap that comes from their politcal party.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jianna

      I guess you can say the Democrats were elected (including the President) to push the Democratic agenda and they should push their agenda until the GOP gets hemroids pushing against it. Now does that sound like a country who is trying to get things done? NO, of cours not. But only the GOP are absolute about their agenda and it shows. YOU – the GOP are adamant to stop all government until you get what you want. You may not get what you want, but you sure as heck will get what you deserve! Plan on it!

      December 20, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Metatron

      As a voter I sent AMERICANS to WASHINGTON to WORK for AMERICA, to pursue an American and HUMANE agenda. Not look out for themselves and forget about us in the process. This is a self centered sideshow attraction amidst a true and desperate situation. To deny this is to be a fool. Do not try to defend these self intrested peddlers of lies and greed. Congress is supposed to be a service job in SERVICE to the American people. They have failed us all. Not just Republicans, Democrats, Green, Tea or Independent. I cannot recall anyone I have spoken to in YEARS that feels as though they have been represented in any way shape or form by our congress. I do not care about the politics I want things to be better for YOU, me and everyone else in this Great nation of ours. The only questions is how do we take it back from those who have corrupted OUR government for THEIR own needs. I am sure there is a civil and peaceful way to take do it. But first we have to think for ourselves. Get over your partisan politics and start thinking, I mean really think.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
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