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. Craig

    Why do the democrats always think they are 100% right??? a two month extension is a joke. Democrats never tie earmarks to bills, never. the only answer here is term limits and we have to stand up and demand them. both parties suck!

    December 20, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • ATL Guy

      Obama has been trying to get the Republicans to extend UI and renew the payroll tax cuts for months now with no success. They thought there was an agreement in place that Boehner and his groups of Traitors Exploiting America (TEA) people would support whatever the Senate produced. He led them on thinking he was into the deal and even surprised the Republican senators when he walked away at the last minute. Quit watching Faux News and you might be able to figure out Boehner's duplicity here. I'm sure he's making the rounds at Faux News with Hannity and O'Reilly so they can push his lies to you idiots.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. votemout

    they all agreed on a 2 month extension so they could try and work on a deal for a year long extension then the Republicans changed their minds at the last minute! Yeah they really care about the the little guy! CLEAN THE HOUSE VOTE THEM OUT!

    December 20, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |

    The GOP want to blame President Obama for this deficit. People forgot it was George Bush jr that created this mess. The Republicans need to work with him for the American people not their 1% friends.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Scalvert

    So Boehner's main objection to the senate plan was that a two month extension creates "uncertainty" for job creators. Mr. Boehner, refusing to even vote on a bill with near-unanimous Senate support, and thereby leaving the economy in near-term limbo, does not reduce uncertainty... unless you count replacing the possibility of failure two months down the road with guaranteed failure right now.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim in Texas

      It was not any where NEAR unanimous at with a vote in the 80% voting for it. I *USED* to be a democrat. Until they started cramming votes down our throats such as the requirement that all americans MUST have health insurance whether they can afford it or not. NOW they complain when the Republicans say you MUST negotiate a fair settlement.
      And we wouldn't HAVE this financial issue if OBAMA hadn't spent all that money BAILING OUT THE RICH. Now he is trying to say the GOP are only trying to help the Rich because He wants to unfairly give them a higher tax percentage to pay for Obama's folly.

      What a lot of people seem to be forgetting – POOR or RICH – we are ALL AMERICANS. We should all pay the same PERCENTAGE of our wages as taxes. Just because someone was successful and made it RICH – they should not be PUNISHED. THIS IS WHAT FREEDOM IS ALL ABOUT. If everyone paid 15% of their income as Taxes – the RICH will PAY MORE than the POOR. But we would ALL be paying our FAIR SHARE.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chrissy

      In theory Jim, that sounds correct, but 15% to a multimillionaire doesn't change his lifestyle at all. It doesn't even affect him. However, if you only bring in $700 a month, 15% is a whole lot of money, and makes or breaks being able to pay for necessities. There are basic costs just to survive that everyone has. When the rich realize just how much the very basic costs are to live, they may be less inclined to make the lowest earners pay the same as them. The poor suffer much more with every percent they have to pay out. its not a penalty, they should consider it a sign of success if they make it into the highest tax brackets.
      As far as the mandatory purchase of medical insurance, I hate that as much as the mandatory purchase of car insurance. Same sort of thing. However, states should regulate that, not the Feds. And it does need to happen, because otherwise we all pay anyway, since the uninsured go to emergency rooms, which is much more expensive than to a family doctor for care. The rates rise for us all to cover the uninsured. By spreading the risk, the rates are lowered. -of course, tht assumes people can pay for the insurance to begin with and simply choose not to.
      The US medical system is just so broken. After living overseas (Netherlands) and seeing a great system, its a shame we can't have what they do. Though everyone pays the higher taxes to make that work well. -always a trade off.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. john G

    a reminder to all - just about every republican member of the house has signed the grover nordquist pledge to NEVER
    raise taxes under the penalty of being challenged by the nordquist group in upcoming state primairies. As long as the house members are working for nordquist they will never work the the people in their districts. We do NOT have a congress that works for us - only one that is obeys Nordquist

    December 20, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Lisa

    VOTE THEM ALL OUT!! This is the most pathetic excuse for a group of people ever. I feel like if I chose 200 random people from around the US to fix this problem, we would be able to accomplish more than congress at this point. These people are supposed to represent the American people. Yes, of course, they want to represent their party and support base, but they act like everyone they represent is a carbon-copy of themselves. Are the majority of people in Congress completely egotistical, self-inflated, narcissists??!!? I think so...otherwise, HOW are they not getting the MESSAGE?!?

    December 20, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. numb

    GOP wants to pay for a tax cut for the first time in history! A $33B tax cut. Woopee! Never mind Bushy's $1T tax cut for the wealthy. Now we really have class warfare.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jack Lpapen

    The people will have the last say. It's going to take another election to get rid of the little kid mentality that seems to be the way in Congress. As the expression goes, "Many, many, of you will be on the outside looking in, because you won't be in office next year." The word is compromise, not I showed you who is boss! I could never be a politician because I wouldn't go along with the stupidity of some of the leaders. If it makes sense do it, if it doesn't make sense forget it and stop acting like a bunch of jerks. You were elected to DO, NOT TO STALMATE! FOR THE SAKE OF THE PEOPLE THAT ARE GOING TO BE HURT THE MOST, DO SOMETHING. I'M RETIRED SO YOU CAN'T HURT ME TOO MUCH, BUT THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE WITH FAMILIES WHO'VE BEEN HURTING BECAUSE OF CONGRESS AND THEY SHOULDN'T HAVE TO BE HURT EVEN MORE. WAKE UP AND SMARTEN UP OR SEEK ANOTHER JOB!

    December 20, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Neil Beckman

    Pass the one year house plan and move on. The 2 month plan is not workable for any employer in the private sector.

    The Senate was wrong to leave town before this issue was resolved. Work through Christmas or resign and let someone else get the job done.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JustWho

    ... do these repub jerks think they are? I know, uneducated evangelical radicals posing as saviors.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. MichiganMoon

    I want more Social Security benefits, I just don't want to pay for it...go Obama Pay Roll tax cuts!

    I want a balanced budget, I just want less taxes and more spending on things for me!

    My politician is always right!

    Democracy.....is it working?

    December 20, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. civic

    I agree max of 2 terms, Just like the President. Get them out before they learn the ropes on how to steal from us. Then ban them from becoming a Lobbyist.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Marc W. McCord

    Both parties are totally dysfunctional. But, what is REALLY dysfunctional is the electorate that keeps sending this bunch of clowns back to Washington year after year. At least the Democrats are willing to compromise on SOME things. The GOP compromises on nothing. In the end, all of America is screwed by self-serving, lifetime politicians.

    I have always opposed term limits because we already have that in our votes, but since most voters are too illiterate to consider issues and policies, and keep repeating the same failed formula over and over again, I now feel that we DO need term limits for Congress and the federal judiciary. We also need to take away all their benefits and place them on the exact same Social Security/Medicare/MedicAid/Healthcare system that the rest of us have to abide.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. dk

    The pickle is that all of these so-called representatives are indeed not for us the real people! They're just costing the tax payers tremendous time and money to do nothing productive. It's not our pockets they're lining. We the 'People' should force a 'no confidence vote' and oust the whole lot of them as worthless – without severences to boot!...

    December 20, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • FTB

      I am jumping on that train. It is a job and should be treated as such. If they are not able to produce then they should lose thier job.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. vinta

    We need a REAL leader in the white house ... the buck stops there. Unable to lead, unable to govern, quick to blame others, no accountability ....

    December 20, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
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