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. numb

    Agree on a 2 term limit; but of course, who writes the law?

    December 20, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Yardman

    Everyone that's in Office now, I will vote against next November. This is not what they were elected to do. Representing the people is not their agenda. Apparently getting re-elected is their only agenda, however that's not going to happen. Both sides can't decide what day of the week it is. This is so sad, I'm afraid the current Congress will not be able to agree on anything so let's get them all out. Term Limits !!!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Americaneedsrealists

    This is a joke, the payroll tax cut should never have been enacted. If they want to cust taxes do it but leave ss alone. The Dems do not care about the American people only about scoring perceived political points. This administration is killing small business with their banking regs, etc. I know this from first hand experince, I work at a small business in sales and these guys are killing us. I for one do not want anyone to cooperate with Obama, Reid, Pelosi, et al they are all worthless and some are criminals.

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

    If you're a Democrat, you'll say it's congress' fault. If you're a Republican, you'll say it's the president's fault. Wake up, people - both parties are pandering to their voters, and hoping that they can successfully blame the other guys. If you truly believe that one party wants to do harm and it's just not about politics, then you are naive.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Eric

    Dump the extremist GOPers – they will not compromise and they will destroy us with their intransigent positions. They do not serve the people – they serve themselves and their corporate masters who all benefit when we tear each other apart. They do not care about you – really, they don't.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. james hayes

    The occupiers need to OCCUPY Congress, but, they are probably on vacation, yet again.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Justin

    Of all the comments, none of you seem to know how this 2 month bill will be paid. It will be paid by low to middle income home-owners that refinance or buy a home. It is a scam to get the gov't out of backing low income mortgages. It will hurt the housing recovery, it will hurt the middle class home owner and it will hurt all of your home values. Don't be a stupid partisan. Any congress member, Democrat or Republican that votes for this measure should not only be voted out of office but executed for treason.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bill in South Carolina

    Want somebody to blame? Blame yourselves for voting for such absolute morons into office based on platforms that keep telling you you are overtaxed and underserved when anyone with half a brain understands there is no free lunch (except perhaps when you are wined and dined by a K street lobbyist.)

    December 20, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. darryl

    It's time to dump them ALL...Demo, Repub, Ind... don't re-elect a single one of these inept bums!

    December 20, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Annie Dalton

    If my UI benefits are stopped, too put it mildly,I'm screwed. I have never been of a political nature, but if this doesn't pass, I will do EVERYTHING in my power to get these repubs out of Congress. I lost my job, lost my house, now this is the LAST thing you will be taken from me.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. city1360

    bohner just lost the election for the so called republicans- democrates have all the amunition they need to destroy republicans for 50 years-

    December 20, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adp

      Lets hope they use it.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Chuck

    Both sides are wrong and don't get it. No one should have left town until the people's business was done, period! Here's a thought abolish political parties, disallow corporate campaign contributions, limit personal contributions to $100, and pass term limitations- two terms with no pension plan and go back home to work like the rest of us! cj

    December 20, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. littleoldme

    Oh Boy, guess what 2012 is coming closer and closer and we get to do something about all of this mess. That is VOTE VOTE VOTE and MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD, be it email, phone calls, twitter, facebook (that is the most popular now it seems), make every single politician accountable for their actions – if they have not PERFORMED FOR THE PEOPLE, then guess what you lose your JOB. This country has a lot of talent that is smart and honest. When Senators have been in the senate for over 25 years isn't this the time to make a change, young people with young ideas can get this country moving again, or at least be a collective unit to try to work the problems out. AGAIN LET US ALL BE HEARD AND HEARD OVER AND OVER AGAIN AND AGAIN

    December 20, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Melissa

    All members of the Congress should be fired and replaced by new members. There will be a chance to replace many of them a few months from now. They do not represent the vast majority of this nation and they do not deserve to make decisions that decide about this nation. They do it to make Obama look bad and prevent him from being re-elected. Old tricks...Let's get rid of these roadblocks that prevent this country from moving forward and recovering.

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

    As a registered member of the GOP, I think I'm in a fairly decent position to say that the House GOP doesn't represent me or my wishes. While a two-month extension doesn't solve the problem, it does postpone tax hikes that would effect me and another 106 million or so Americans. I'm tired of GOP leaders pandering to the far right and not realizing that their opinion doesn't even represent half the country. It's like the word compromise isn't even in their vocabularies.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • JT

      It's not that they are pandering to the far right. They would never raise taxes on the richest Americans and corporations. That speaks for itself.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justin

      It's good to know GOP supporters are thinking. It is not a GOP/Dems are wrong. This is a problem with our ability to compromise. I wish the GOP heard the voice of people like you more often...

      December 20, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
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