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. schnikers

    If these employees truly worked for me I would have fired their collective patooties years ago. Rep and Dem alike. All they do is wiz on one another's shoes. A child's game. Pathetic.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JD.

    My biggest issue is? Congress believes "Failure" is an option. When we put a collective together to come up with a budget? They really believe "Failure" is ok!!! May we fire them now?!?!?!? Hire a man to mow your lawn. He simply doesn't do it but still wants to be paid and also wants you to believe he did his best. Thank you!!! May I have another!!!
    Time to clean house amaerica!!!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. balance pay off what me

    We are told to get our own expenses under control. Pay off our debt and keep 3 months savings to pay for emergency. How in the heck do we do this when the government will take it all anyway. We need to vote them all out and start all over with a third party. Us, the People for the People. At least we won't need to worry about health care and retirement heck the government can pay for it. Right.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Flaitguy

    The problem of course, is not just congress but big business and lobbying. Our country was bought a long time ago. We need to get it back but we will not do it by voting this group out only to bring in another bribed group. We do however have some options. We simply find out what companies are buying our politicians and we stop buying from them. You will hear arguments that it only hurts those locally employed by these companies etc but that will be a very temporary hurt if at all. If GE doesn't want fair trade with China because they insist on employing cheap China labor only to ship their stuff back to the US to sell then we need to tell them don't bother. We arent buying anything GE is selling. If it isn't made here we don't need to consume it. Will cost be higher? Sure but everyone will be working and we can more easily afford it. our wealth will be coming back to us again. We need to use this internet age to band together and start closing shop on these companies and banks who are buying our representatives.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ruben

    It is really hillarius. Cnn has the most stupid off balanced people people as devoted on the plannet as an audience. The remarks are so out of fact and lacking foundation. The democrats are the ones that have been lying and deceiving everyone for years. All it takes is to do some research to see history and understand why the GOP will not accept deals offered by Obama or Reed or Pelosi or anyone of the democrats. How many times must some one anyone be fooled witht eh same trick and expected to do it again. Do your research and you will clearly see it in the history of the past 3 Republican presidents. They agreed and the dems never came through, not once in 3 times that the GOP agreed and then they used it against them as well. What a joke. This is why you will vote for Omaba again. You love t get scr#%^

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

      You can always spot a brainwashed Fox News junkie.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom in Orlando

      Reuben, you need a cerebral enema if you really believe all the crap you just wrote.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. JA

    At what point will these clowns quit using the public as pawns in their own agenda's? I don't believe that anyone at the top has the public in their best interests, I truly believe that they have only their bottom line in their interests.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. SWObserver

    What a tragic and outrageous situation we are in once again due to a fringe group obstructing progress. I am worn out and exhausted from being held hostage by a narrow minded group of self-centered, self-absorbed "politicians" out to meet the needs of the few with no regard for the needs of the vast majority of Americans. There is nothing wrong with taking two months to make a well debated, well informed decision that eliminates the inclusion of special interest issues that have nothing to do with funding Social Security.

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

    The utter contempt the teabaggers display for American democracy is nothing compared to the level of disgust with which the American people are viewing the Republicans in Congress. Government isn't the problem, Republicans in government is the problem...

    December 20, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Stephanie in Fla

    Is this how Republicans show they can run the country better, by running it into the ground? Holding the American people hostage?

    December 20, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Debbie

    At 18 in 1972 I was one of the first 18 years old to have the right to vote. Here it is 2011 and I am ashamed of what the politicans in this country have done to our government. Wale up Washington, we've had enough of both parties and their games. I can honestly say this Congress has no interest in anything other then making a fool out of the man in the White House. What they don't realize is that we all know that and know why and are totally disgusted by it. Does anyone in Washington remember who they work for?

    December 20, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. JohnRJ08

    Congress is bad enough with a rational two-party system. It is made worse when leaders of one party say that their primary objective is to manufacture the failure of the administration. But, when you have a group of amateurish ideologues voted into the House of Representatives, it is a formula for disaster. When the Speaker of the House can't control his own caucus, then there can be no cooperation between the House and Senate, much less between the House the White House. On top of all that, we have the most ineffective, cowardly Speaker in the entire history of the House of Representatives. Whoever voted John Boehner into Congress should be ashamed of themselves. And whoever voted these horrific Tea Partyers in should never be allowed to vote again.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • D

      Right on John! So let’s make sure they don't get a chance in November and make sure everyone votes. Don't procrastinate, vote. Don't think your vote won't count.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Alvin

    I can only assume that the cabinet in power are either answering most of the legitimate arguments on here, or are paying losers to do so. I don't believe I will read anymore of this obvious propaganda.....Uh, Ruben, I am with ya....

    December 20, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. BJ Bell

    Boehner and the "Party of the 1%" could care less about the 99%, many without jobs or struggling to get by, he's more concerned about his Grover Norquist pledge and catering to the Koch Brothers and helping America.

    Forget the rhetoric, just look at the actions, Republicans are "stonewalling" any attempt by the Democrats to help the 99%.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • D

      You couldn't be more right. In my opinion he is so far up the Koch bothers back side he will never crawl out.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. evalu8

    Your comments are only as good as your vote. Please take the time to exercise the right to choose. Register and show up on election day.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barry

      We should let the congress know that while they are on Christmas Break they should polish up their resumes and fill out job applications, as they will not be back next fall to continue what has been going on since the last election. If they do not understand that the voters can't be treated like this, then I say great, see if your local lobbyist will hire you when your term is up.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. JohnQ

    Giving a 60 day tax break extension does what? This assumes one has some form of income. "The taxpayers new clothes."

    December 20, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd

      The Demos done want 60 day either, but with the current deadline it just gave some breathing room to make a longer deal. The way the Republicans are acting not much is moving these days. I am sure democrats would prefer not to fight about it over the next 60 days, pass it and come back from break and get a fair deal done that both have something to like.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
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