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. ConsiderThis

    I've said it once and I'll keep saying it – Come November VOTE EITHER FOR ALL DEMOCRATS OR ALL REPUBLICANS – DO NOT VOTE FOR DIVIDED GOVERNMENT! What else does our divided government have to do to us for us to accept the fact that DIVIDED GOVERNMENT DOESN'T WORK?

    December 20, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. fedupinSC

    I hope every level headed American sees what a joke Congress has become and vote everyone of them out of office in 2012. These jerks are more interested in playing continual partisan politics rather than doing what's in the best interest of the nation.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      You know as I read these comments I realize the problem with America resides in the intelligence of the citizens. If you did not graduate college you have no business voting. Half you idiots express an opinion and have no clue or have even researched what the issues are. Do any of you find it odd that the Democrats were yellign to raise taxes 2 months ago and now they are fighting tooth and nail for a tax cut. Do you think maybe there is something for all of them in this bill and it sure ain't lower taxes for joe citizen. Wake up you pin heads!

      December 20, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Marko

    You think it's reasonable for the House to call for a joint committee 11 days before the deadline? Seriously? Especially when the leadership on BOTH sides of BOTH chambers already agreed to the plan passed in the Senate? Really? Seriously?

    December 20, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Barry

    Being princiipled is when you sacrifice your self interests for your beliefs. When you sacrifice someone else's interests for your beliefs, that's being pigheaded. Guess which ones the House Republicans are.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      There is no republican alive worthy of holding public office. They're all useless. Cantor, Norquist and Boehner should be tar and feathered, then tied to the base of the Washington monument and left there as an example of how pathetic and totally worthless the gop has become.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      What have the democrats done? Can anybody tell me one good thing the democrats have done since Obama taking office? They like to spend money, that is for sure. Nancy Pelosi likes to hear her self talk, that is for sure also. Obama likes to go on vacation a lot while all of us suffer, that is for sure too. How many of you get to take an all expense paid vacation to Hawaii for 12 days, I think he has some work to do here!

      December 20, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ed

    The sad part of voting these characters out is the new ones will be just as bad the government at this point is so corrupt there is nothing we can do about it.Occupy Wall Street had it right but lost thier direction. It is time to throw them all overboard into Boston Harbor

    December 20, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. An American

    I consider myself a conservative fellow but after what I have seen in Washington, I can assure you that I will vote democratic and voice my opinion to others to vote democratic. I can't believe I was such a fool as to support a party at one time that supports policies that undermine the middle class, lower class and cannot treat people as fellow human beings. Nose up and oblivious to the common man is how I describe many of these so called consevatives. Protect the wealthy!! Allow them access to the best tax shelters, while I work and toil endlessly. They no longer see the world as realist. They / Republicans have become overly conceited, and bought (body and soul). I am curious if they / Republicans even have a conscience for the decisions they have made for the last decade. When will they consider, helping those of us that toil and make this country great. They / Republicans can complain, they can argue and debate but seldom do they do anything to help those that have lost their jobs, need assistance or a helping hand. They simply smile, taunt and laugh on media circuits at how obsurd it is for Democrates to consider extending benefits, assistance, programs, and ideas to help others. I am in awe at times at what I see (regarding the Republicans). How can they claim to be compassionate especially at this time of the year. It must be great living in a glass bubble. President Obama, you have my vote. You have made some tough calls and the rights ones at that. In fact, bless you. I salute you. I know the job is not easy but you persevere. I could not do the job or take the pressure for 1 hour needless to say 24/7. You kept this machine running. Thank you.
    -An American.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      You know as I read these comments I realize the problem with America resides in the intelligence of the citizens. If you did not graduate college you have no business voting. Half you idiots express an opinion and have no clue or have even researched what the issues are. Do any of you find it odd that the Democrats were yellign to raise taxes 2 months ago and now they are fighting tooth and nail for a tax cut. Do you think maybe there is something for all of them in this bill and it sure ain't lower taxes for joe citizen. Wake up you buffons!

      December 20, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chuck Bellamy

      One can be a conservative and still see the error in thinking that only one party is right. We can hold on to older values as we tend to do with things as we age without forcing others to agree or to follow in lock-step. The sadness about the current debate is the false dichotomy that the GOP is leading with here: that if we really want to do something about jobs, the payroll deduction extension is small potatoes compared with the jobs that we can create by allowing another massive degrading of the planet by trying to force the President to approve the Keystone Pipeline project. But they also try to sell it by falsely claiming that it will reduce our use of foreign oil. I think not, if built it would allow Texas to refine it, but then it would become part of the international market. More wealth to a few, more pollution to the atmosphere and some currently pristine places, few permanent jobs and little else positive. Don't buy GOP soup, it's got too much salt and isn't good for your health!

      December 20, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      America's life blood is industrial production, it is what made us great. So to all of you tree hugging environmentalists that think we are going to camp out in a tent for a month and the world and the economy is going to get better should just give up that pipe dream. We should put the pipeline in and put people back to work. The green agenda is dead, Al Gore made a lot of money off that BS, and I think people see how big of joke it is.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bill McKinley

    I'll be happy to pay an additional $1,000 a year with the proviso I get to shove it up the a** of John Boehner and Eric Cantor. This is ridiculous.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      You know as I read these comments I realize the problem with America resides in the intelligence of the citizens. If you did not graduate college you have no business voting. Half you idiots express an opinion and have no clue or have even researched what the issues are. Do any of you find it odd that the Democrats were yellign to raise taxes 2 months ago and now they are fighting tooth and nail for a tax cut. Do you think maybe there is something for all of them in this bill and it sure ain't lower taxes for joe citizen. Wake up you buffons!

      December 20, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. cathy

    I fail to comprehend why these people who were voted in to represent the people cannot put their personal money interests aside and do what is best for the country as opposed to what is best for their bank account. Sadly "by the people and for the people" is an ideal that has long been forgotten and replaced "by the people and for me".
    I believe strongly in term limits and line item vetoes and I sadly will never live long enough to see that even as a 20 year old.
    Summary: this is the greediest most self serving government in the history of the country.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Because they like being rich, and they paid a lot of money to get elected to stay that way. When is joe citizen going to realize this is a fixed game. The democrats are not poor either, although they claim to be for the poor guy. It is a well orchestrated sharaid for the rich to get richer and the poor to get what they deserve nothing because you contribute nothing. You might as well vote Republican at least we are charitable!

      December 20, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Walrus Mustache

    The Neo-Cons "hate" and I mean "HATE" Barack Obama. They will do anything to keep wealth even if it means destroying the middle class and America as we know it. All the tactictis the Republicans are using are jutified in their minds because of hate. End of story!. Soon they will start a war with Iran so that their rich friends can make more war profits. meanwhile the middle class sends its sons and daughters out to slaughter in some foreign country. Class warefare is alive and well in the USA.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • matt

      everyone should be paying their fair share..
      the fact that poor don't pay ANYTHING and feel that they are victims of the Repuplicans because they are being asked to pay something...
      i still believe in a flat tax system. get rid of income tax and set a percentage based on everything we purchase.
      the rich will pay more, the poor will pay something, and odds are the middle class will still be in the middle.
      still want to buy that $5000 prada bag? that $75,000 rolex? the $25,000,000 mansion.. tax it all!
      we all pay according to what we spend. and if we pay our bills and we are frugal with our money, the country gets out of debt.
      Get rid of the tax loopholes... no more deductions for charity. you want to give a worthy cause, i commend you! but giving your old clothes that don't fit any more to the salvation army because you expect to get something in return isn't exactly charity is it? it shouldn't be tax deductable. so get rid of it all so real charity is exactly that, helping someone from the heart without return expectations.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jianna

      One of the maing difference in the Democrats and GOP is the GOP, through G. W. Bush, has used the gullible church as a pulpit and election campaign headquarters to freely dispense propaganda against the Democrats and for the GOP. I call it the Great Apostacy. The GOP's false religion is as false as their agenda. What does that make Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed????? We are dealing with pure evil here folks.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Justin McAllan

    Are any other Americans getting tired of being "held hostage" by the Grand Old Ponzi? Seems like they stall everything until it gets to a critical moment, then make demands in order to make any progress on it. Is this how democracy "works", because I really hope this isn't the template all these middle eastern countries are using for THEIR new democracies....apparently it COULD get worse over there...

    December 20, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Colday

    Let us not forget the unemployment extension that is also part of this bill. How many millions will have $0 coming in after the 31st ? Happy New Year from congress!!

    December 20, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Chuck Bellamy

    It's time to remember Mark Twain's most fitting quote on this subject: "Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."

    December 20, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rick

    The Party of tax cuts!!! opps tax cuts are only for Boehner and his friends !!

    December 20, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Julie

    Lumps of coal for all of them!

    December 20, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dave

    Actually the speaker is right. How on earth can a payroll system be setup for two months on taxes? The Senate should just stay home, they haven't accomplished a thing this year.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • ATL Guy

      Stupidest excuse yet for not doing anything. Never mind that a former Bush Admin person asked for a letter from the payroll people to provide cover to the Republicans. Smells to high heavens. But I think Faux News tells you guys differently.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
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