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. LetsStartOver

    It's about time to switch to a Parliamentary form of gov't. One party gets a chance & elects a Prime Minister. If they screw up we call for a no-confidence vote & out they go. I know how I'd vote!

    December 20, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Riptim

    I can`t imagine what it must be like to be a political figure who is completly controled by tea baggers and grover norquest. How pathetic that must be, not to be able to think for yourself as an independent man or women.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. You're an idiot, Dave.

    Congress, and specifically Boehner are doing nothing whatsoever for the good of this country. They are simply trying to gain more power, get Obama out of the White House, get the Tea Party in, and start collecting even more checks from their lobbyists and special interest groups. There should be laws against what they are doing. Oh- that's right... I meant, laws against this should be ENFORCED. And Dave- the Senate hasn't accomplished anything this year because this Do-Nothing Congress wouldn't allow anything to get past them. They all need to go. It's time to change the system. No more lobbying. No more b-lls–t. Term limits for everyone. Get rid of the Electoral College. And Obama, if you're listening, it just might be time to drop an Executive Order.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Frank

    Unfortunately, my plan will not receive unanimous support: vote in such a way that both houses and the White House are in Democratic hands. Then we will make some progress.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. John S

    What is funny is they can pass a bill that includes infinite detention of US citizens, and empowers the military over the people... They can try to filter the internet ( See SOPA bill).... Yet, they can not do one thing to actually help the US citizens.... Vote out all of them, and outlaw corporate money in politics, no more lobbyists.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Just Curious

    I'm wondering if Congress has read the Deceleration of Independence lately, because if you read between the lines, some of the grievances outlined there seem to be happening again.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. witerok

    The only true weapon we the people possess is the vote! We really can make something good happen for a change if we vote all of these bums out of their cozy little offices and replace them with people who actually want to help our country. The two party system is a bust!!!! It is doomed to failure! A house divided will always fall, our country should have ONE party that works for the good of everyone. Yeah, pie in the sky, but it sounds pretty good to me.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Laura Ashe

    Toss them all out come next election year. Time for new blood in both houses. Enough is enough. WE need to make sure OUR EMPLOYEES are doing the work of the American people. Not a chosen few!!!!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. K. Owe

    I hope that the people who voted the GOP/ReTHUGlicans in to these seats will remember this when it's time for re-election.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. arkiieron

    What is really sad it that neither Congress nor the President wants to address the facts that the jobs for our middle class have moved to Mexico and other low wage countries. Shorting our Social Security trust fund won't fix the problem. We will just dig a deeper debt hole. US industry moving jobs out of the country should face the wrath of our people and our tax code. Made in USA should be respected and rewarded. NAFTA needs to be investigated.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. pat

    I think if these guys can not get the job done, then they all need to be fired. If I did not do my job that is what would happen to me. These guys do not care who they hurt as long as they draw their paycheck. Let's get them all out of office.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. skog

    Cnn once again a chance to show that all are frustrated chooses only to twitter highlight the ones bashing the GOP, if the Democrats dont want to argue why dont they just let the republican version pass?

    December 20, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. george of the jungle

    lets hold their feet to the fire and make the repos do the chicken. Enough is enough. Hold firm Mr President. the American people need someone to look out for them apparently it is not the republican congress

    December 20, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Marko

    I see that the only "conservative" support here is from Bob, who is apparently a paid shill to post the same reply to every post he doesn't like.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray

      So anyone who has a different opinion than the liberal CNN majority here is a shill? And why would Reid and Obama refuse to bring both houses of Congress together to hammer out a compromise? Aren't they the ones slamming the door on compromise here? I don't see the Republicans walking away from the table here...

      December 20, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marko

      No, but people who have nothing better to do than to post the same dribble against all posts they don't like appear like they are paid to do it. And in case you didn't know it already, the leadership of BOTH parties from BOTH chambers agreed to the Senate bill before it passed. Then the House rejected it and sent it to committee? With 11 days to go? Seriously? That's the best they can do? Really?

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

      But they are saying they want to bring everyone together and work out a longer-term solution. Why would Reid and Obama shut them down then if they are so interested in averting a tax hike and saving the middle class? Is "calling the bluff" so important that they won't even continue talks?

      December 20, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marko

      That's what I'm trying to tell you, Ray. They already came together. They all realized they couldn't get a long-term deal done before the end of the year so the 2-month deal was the compromise. If the House Republicans _really_ wanted a committee, they should have done that weeks ago. It takes a week just to go thru the procedures just to get a committee up and running. This was a done deal on Friday night according to Boehner, who apparently can't speak for his caucus.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. cheli

    This political show is disgusting, it boggles my mind that anyone could support EITHER of the morally BANKRUPT parties we have running our country today. Neither party gives a darn about the people they claim to represent, the bottom line is that it's all about their own personal political aspirations and agendas....nothing to do with the average american. BOTH parties are EQUALLY responsible for ALL of the games going on. Obama stinks just as much as Gingrinch, but the republicans are so busy shooting at each other that obama will get another term simply by default. NONE of them deserve to be there, none of them care if there is food on your table or mine and their only concern about unemployment is that it results in less taxes being paid into their DEEP pockets. Whether you can afford a holiday or not.....the dems will go home to enjoy theirs regardless of the uncertainty they leave us to deal with, the repubs will do the same, they all will have the best and finest holidays while the rest of us sweat bullets and wonder how we will survive another year of this lousy economy.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • MCarol

      You hit the nail on the head.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
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