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. Tom Hoolihan

    Shame on you GOP,,,,,,shame on you !! How such irresponsible" leadership" from the Republican Party (John Boehner) can simply be so dysfunctional is mind boggling. If these folks managed private business this way....they would all be bankrupt by the end of the week ! Advice: make a list of every GOP name in the Senate and House that participated in this debacle and, one by one, vote them out of office next November.

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

      Make a list with the Dems on it first in bold. Then make a list with all members. Then vote them out....every single one of them. But that won't happen. I get tired of Democrats lying all the time about Republicans wanting babies and old people to die....wanting working folks to starve....yea right.....what does a person do when he can't come up with a decent argument to counter another's opinion???? Make outlandish statements like that. For God's sake can't people see both parties are useless?

      December 20, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Barbara

    I absolutely HATE the Republicans! They have blocked EVERY BILL the Democrats have tried to bring to the floor with a Filabuster. What a bunch of LOSERS!!!
    Any American that thinks the Republicans are going to look out for the 99% needs to have their head examined!
    They have done nothing to help this Country get jobs and slam dunk everything President Obama suggests to create new jobs. They won't even bring it up for a vote!
    If you are rich by all means vote for the Republicans because the rich are the only ones they care about!
    Shame, shame on all of you Republicans who nastiness shines through beautifully every day! You should be so proud of yourselves.
    I hope the American people are paying attention to the endless games they play and deal them all out at the polls!!!
    This is one very anger, digusted, hard working taxpayer!

    Barbara

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

    This tax cut extension will not hurt Social Security; what hurts Social Security is the 1% rich not contributing their portion and the Senators, House of Reps and Congress not putting in their fair share because they get lifetime benefits. Make them live like other people who retire in the real world and see how quickly they act to assist Social Security. Can they live on $1,200 a month? And, have to pay for their own medical rather than free lifetime government medical?

    December 20, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • ConfusedAmerican

      Awesome insight Oggie.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray

      What is the fair share for the 1%? What about how much we SPEND as a country? Wouldn't spending LESS be a part of the solution?

      December 20, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ted

    Some things never change, They all don't represent me. I'm not Rich and I'm not on welfare

    December 20, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ConfusedAmerican

    So here's the deal. Democrats want Cable, Phone Service, Internet, Food, Electricity, Heat/AC, Gas Stoves, Fire Places, Ferrari's, a 3 story house with 4 stall garage, 4 wheeler's and a yacht. Republicans say, "Here is $1000 to pay for it all but you can't work or fund raise to make up the difference" Bottom line Democrats need to find a better way of cutting the liberal fluff out of domestic programs, and Republicans need to loosen their conservative sphincters. Republicans and Democrats call for compromise but have drawn lines in the sand 100meters apart. Were I in Congress I'd put a plan together that meets in the middle. Let the payroll tax come back up 0.5% (by normal reports that's about $250-$300 increase for the year) and have less to "pay for". Also no other provisions would be allowed in this bill. This whole XL pipeline BS needs to hit the road for the time being.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mauro

      You are really confused!!!! Democrats are helping the Rich most of the time, but the Republicans are for the 1% (Koch brothers, oil masters). Dont be fooled. Obama tries to do a little for the middle class and he is accused of EXTREMIST??? That is what makes everybody to be brainwashed and confused. Thank God the internet is free where everybody can provide an opinion and not rely on FOX or CNN or CNBC who have bosses pressing for their own personal interests.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emperor Norton

      I'm curious what you would consider "liberal fluff."

      December 20, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Lou from NH

    Once again, our legislative branch is showing its dysfunctional side. The Senate and the House need to sit down, shut up, and talk this out. The "brats in the schoolyard act" is OVER. Congress needs to put up for the American people.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. MCarol

    THROW THE BUMS OUT and have term limits!!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Easttex

    At this point I sure wish the election were tomorrow and Obama was replaced by Romney or Gingrich. Or, if I must have a Democrat President, please give me someone like Clinton who, for whatever faults he had, knew how to get both parties to work together. The Obama style of presidency fosters dissension, followed by more dissension. Until he came on board, we had essentially a two party system (no offense meant to Libertarians, Independents) that could at least work together behind closed doors on some things and do it with far less finger pointing.

    I guess there will aways be some bickering between both parties, but a good leader has something in them that helps bring opposing sides together and draws on their best characteristics. Anyway, been a Republican my whole life.... who'd a thought I'd be wishing for Clinton as an option.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Allen

    NO one in congress deserves to be relected, all they do is say no to the president you cant tell me that the republicans arn't anything but a bunch of racsists and bigots. Anything the president wants they say NO to. Throw them all out of office

    December 20, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. erma wehrenberg

    George Washington would be appalled. These non-professionals in Congress have no integrity, no thought as to the common good of the people, only concerned about themselves and their special interests. "You can't fix stupid, but you can vote them out."

    December 20, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. DSBsky

    Keep it up congress.. Don't be suprised when some crazy guy starts dropping you from a mile away with a sniper rifle. Your getting what you deserve if so.
    Congress has failed the American people so badly that it just makes me physically sick when I think about it in depth. Honestly If I had to choose between having them all just drop dead or leave them in. I'd have them all drop dead. I am not even kidding. Hell I'd even pull the trigger if it was legal. You people are a slap in the face to America and you will be removed from office eventually. Maybe forcefully if you keep up this trend assuming the American people will just continue to "take it laying down" as if we won't do anything. Oh, we'll do something. We'll do a whole hell of a lot of something. t(^.^)t congress....

    December 20, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JC

    Who is really behind this play?? That's the question. What are the $$$ interests behind this battle of circus?? Congress is not looking for US people needs. Their only interests are theirs, manipulated by the 1% lobbyists.
    With this type of legislative work, the US won't finish this period of weak economy and foggy future.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. PATRIOT

    Have you punched your congressman today?!

    December 20, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. RTURNER

    The Republican's are just playing with our lives. I think come election time we should vote each of them out of office. This is a game to them at our expense we should call each of their office and flood their phones. Let's vote them out

    December 20, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. SLG

    this started back when President Obama was sworn in. Any issue that he brings up will be challenged and stopped at all costs. Why? Is this more important than ensuring the american people are taken care of? I see the President trying to do something constructive while the republicans are trying to be destructive. I am an Independent that just fell off the fence to the Democratic viewpoint.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Felicia Thomas-Bellows

      I am in total agreement with you. This is how independents pick sides, you wait until the crap hits the fan and see who has the best solutions to the problem.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chrissy

      -another former independent who is right there with ya. after watching this debacle all year, and the calls by Republicans to do anything simply to oust Obama, I have no faith in the GOP to do what is right for the country. They are more concerned with the partisanship and supporting the lobby's (big oil, big pharma, Koch brothers, etc.) than taking care of business. The new Tea party house members are the worst. They refuse to do any compromising, which is always required, and end up holding the whole country hostage to the 10% who refuse to act like grown ups.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
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