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. Jared

    You can stick a fork in this country with the criminals we have in congress. It's time for a revolution.

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

      REVOLUTION IS RIGHT, Jared! How else can we have government by the people! Our congress, most of it, is bought and paid for by BIG MONEY and WALL STREET CROOKS who are totally irresponsible and immoral! They steal from each of us daily by GAMING the FUTURES MARKETS, playing them like they were 'STOCK"....Futures Markets are COMMODITY MARKETS DEALINGIN HUMAN NECESSITIES i.e., FOOD & FUEL & other CONSUMABLES necessary for human survival. This truth is hidden from you by the Big Media (servant of Big Money), Big Crooks in Congress (voted in by trusting public). Notice gas going up? Notice food going up? Notice clothing going up? Notice all consumer goods going up? Notice everything going up except your pay check? This is because of every dollar you spend around 25% goes to "so called investors" gaming the Commodities Futures Markets the effect of such GAMBLING being that all commodity prices are driven up and up and up (partly because there are far more buyers than sellers due to the fact that NO "INVESTOR" EVER HAS TO TAKE DELIVERY ON ANY COMMODITY CONTRACT THEY PURCHASE......AND THEY DON'T TAKE DELIVERY THE ONLY BUY AND RE-SELL, DRIVING UP PRICES AND POCKETING THE profits, PROFITS, PROFITS. This is not only unearned profit but immoral profit and would be ILLEGAL if DODD-FRANK LAW WERE BEING ENFORCED (it is not enforced, get busy and research it, I DID). Enough said??? People, get busy and find out what is truly going on UNDER THE NAME OF "investing in the markets".

      December 20, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rich

    No, Ray, a society where these 400 people don't buy off the Congress to do their bidding. THAT is the one I envison. And, one where 400 people don't control half the money. Do you really believe they EARNED it honestly? Come on now, you have to be an adult and know that your ablitiy to earn a trillion dollars is pretty much zero. The only way to do it is to purchase lower tax rates, like 15% on capital gains, which is what these people do, offshore 1/2 your cash so you don't have to pay any taxes on it, and other moves that were put into law to help these people amass such a huge percentage of the total wealth of the nation. Or, do you really believe that they made it the old fashioned way by starting a company and EARNING their living? And please, don't give me Gates. Yes, he is giving it away due to, basically, guilt. I know what he did and how he did it, and I can promise you he lied, cheated, and stole–not with a gun, mind you, but there are other ways to accomplish this. Of course, the 6 Waltons, who have 69.7 BILLION between them, happened to pop out of the right crotch. Guess that's the American way, right?

    Solution: Taxes. Period. Put the tax rate at a FAIR level for EVERYONE. Do you have accountants on retainer that shuffle your cash offshore to avoid taxes? Do you buy a few Congress people to make sure your TEMPORARY 15% capital gains tax is NEVER raised back to where it was? We have had the bush tax cuts for 10 years. Answer one question: Where are all the jobs that these "job creators" used their tax breaks to invest in American businesses and create the jobs? It seems to me that the deck is stacked and these people are winning. If you think that it is fair to bribe politicians to pass laws so you can keep even more of your ill-gotten cash, you are in the right nation. I say, let's bring back the Eiserhower tax rates and build a strong middle-class to bring this country back to the strength it had before all this cheating took place. If you don't believe that a strong middle class is important to the survival of this nation, take a look at Russia or at Iraq. They ain't doing so well, but one guy is buying a basketball team and another is "investing" in one of our new tech companies. My concept is, if you are fortunate enough to inherit 70 billion dollars because your DAD started a business, PAY your employees a fair wage, provide insurance and other benefits for them, and live on 68 BILLION dollars. Big deal, huh? Oh, and the numbers are from TRIBUNE Newspapers, so draw your own conclusions. I suppose they could be lying, right, since it woud do them so much good?? Check it out yourself, please, as EVERYONE should. Don't believe anyone on anything unless YOU check it out yourself. This is a huge problem in America today; we believe whatever some talking-head tells us without CHECKING!

    December 20, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. richp

    The GOP should let the dems have their way, then when the dems crash the system the dems will have no one to point their fingers at.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      good idea! we gave the GOP 10 years to work their system and look what happened? biggest recession since the great depression... lets try the Dem way for 4 years, (WITHOUT THE BLOCKING by the GOP controlled congress). if we try it as a united nation and it fails, i'll be the first one to vote in a new crew of repubs, give them another chance to figure it all out. seems like a fair deal to me!

      December 20, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • richard williams

      I see you are a TEA PARTY brainwash victim. You wouldn't know truth if you fell over it....and tell Grover I said that!

      December 20, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Whome

    Nothing will get fixed or move forward until they are all gone, none of them should be reelected.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. me

    let's send ron paul to the white house in 2012 and fix all this, i'm all for less government telling me how to run my life.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. emma

    @bob, i cant imagine what wonderful country you left to come here.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JG

    It doesn't matter what party affiliation that you have. The system is broken. For politicians, it's about getting elected and keeping the job. When you break that down to it's core, there is ZERO incentive for the two sides to work together on anything. If one side had the cure for cancer, the other side would disagree and block it. To give the other side a "victory" is to put themselves out of work in the next election. Term limits are the only way to break this cycle.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. DDanny1

    ATTENTION: Before making a comment on this board, go to http://WWW.HOUSE.GOV. If you DON'T, you're risking looking like an IDIOT. If you DO, you will know which of the comments on this board are BEING MADE BY IDIOTS.
    EVERY SINGLE REPRESENTATIVE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO VOTE ON THE PAYROLL TAXCUT EXTENSION SIX TIMES!
    http://WWW.HOUSE.GOV Has ALL THE VOTES made in the House of Representatives. Included are THE SIX VOTES MADE ON THE PAYROLL TAX CUT FOR A FULL YEAR! Go see how YOUR REPRESENTATIVE VOTED.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Citizenusa....not China

    Once again the Republicans are the Party of NO!

    I actually don't agree with this tax cut...it's a gimmick and doesn't address core policy issues....it amazes me how the Repubs either get their way or its NO.

    I imagine a much improved America if we vote all the Teapublicans and Republicans from office in 2012....then we'll see if the Dems can change the direction from Corporate America and the Rich 1% back to the middle class and the 99%! If then the Dems don't deliver.....we rise up and break the 2 party grip on our nation.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. CRG

    It is clear what is happening here. The extreme right wing of the Republican Party is trying to destroy this country's democratic form of government and set up an Oligarchy. That is government run by, for, and of the extremely wealthy at the expense of everyone else. If people don't wise up and vote these jerks out of office, democracy in the USA will become a thing of the past.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Katie

    I hereby second the motion for ALL members of Congress to resign. At my work, if you aren't doing your job...you lose it.

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

    obama and dems at it again. They are hurting American's and every level and the Sheep out there want to blame Republicans. Grow up...

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

      Are you paying attention? It is obvious since the midterm election the Tea Party Republicans in the House are the obstructionists here.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • BinFL

      Really? People that think like you are the ones hurting this country. Obama and the Dems were making great progress before they lost the filibuster proof Senate (when Kennedy died) which was only a short time into his Presidency. Then once the TeaPees took over the House everything went to pot. Gas prices shot up, food prices shot up, no bills were passed (other than abortion and In God We Trust!). To say that Obama has done harm is so totally ridiculous because – guess what – his policies haven't been put in place!

      December 20, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ben in Los Angeles

    The solution is simple – VOTE for those running for office who will represent and support the best interests of us and the nation over any other interests. VOTE out the GOP. VOTE for the Dems. Remember all those wonderful things that got done when the Dems has control of the House and 60 votes in the Senate.

    Finally, revised health care – even if it is only a good start that needs fixing.
    Finally, and end to the war in Iraq.
    Finally, some short and long term sanity re Afghanistan – we will be leaving at some point.
    Finally, a solution in Libya with victory and no US troops involved or dead.
    Finally, a tax cut for 160,000,000 working Americans and not just for the top 1%.
    Finally, a Justice Dept that says no to a terrible merger with ATT and T-Mobile.
    Finally, a Justice Dept that will not let the majority GOP in many states from discriminatory voting restrictions

    Yeah, we can list the disappointments with Pres Obama and the Dems in Congress – but consider where we would be if McCain and Palin had won!!! And if the Paul Ryan to privatize SS and Medicare were to become law.

    VOTE – VOTE – VOTE – VOTE – VOTE and then pass the word to get others to VOTE.

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

      You are a walking talking puppet of the democratic party. You have to be completly stupd to believe that thing shave been so great with democrats in charge. Everythign that Obama has been involved in has been involved in has been a complete failure. But hey we are suppose to jump on board for 4 more years of comlete failure.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • BinFL

      @Rob – please tell us what those failures are. You are really so clueless. Step away from your 24 hour barrage of Faux News, get some fresh air, clear your head then maybe we can talk some sense into you.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Stan

    Republican truth test... taxing the rich = not good. Taxing average Americans = good. But during elections, they lump it in as all taxes = not good so we'll vote for them so then they can help the rich. The truth is that they don't mind sticking it to the middle-class. Suckers we all are and here's the proof.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ron

    I'll be the first to agree that the democrats play politics as much as the republicans. But you have to admit, since 2010 the republicans have blocked everything that could help Obama (and the American people), and have compromised on absolutely nothing. So here is what I would do if I were Reid. I'd tell Boehner we'll go to committee with you, and here's what we'll propose. No Keystone pipeline addendum. No cutting anyone's jobs to pay for this. No riders attached to the bill, period. And since every tax break ever proposed by the republicans has been unfunded, then this one will be unfunded too. Now...want to bet the republicans will find the payroll tax not necessary?

    December 20, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
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