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. LC

    If an asteroid bigger than anything Hollywood could imagine was discovered to be going to hit and destroy the planet at 12:53 PM next tuesday..., Congress is so stupid that it would go into emergency session to pass a bill to officially shift the days of the week so the orbit of the asteroid misses us.

    It's time these people were fired by their employer. That would be us, the American People.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. CBR

    Congress just does not get it. The House Leaders believe they are always right so there is no need to compromise. The Senate Republicans agree to a bill and the House Republicans dis them. This is great news for the country. We will pay for this while Congress takes our money.

    The President has done everything possible to get the Republicans to move. Their response is that they will not work with this President. That has been their mantra since January 20. 2009. How long will we put up with this nonsense before we vote them all out.

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

    A very forceful endorsement of the idea that both sides are to blame in this, when very clearly it is only the Republican Teabaggers in the House who are screwing things up. The Senate overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan compromise with 90 votes, yet the House GOP is not happy with middle class tax cuts unless they're tied to pollution and dessication of the unemployed.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ATL Guy

    The Republicans should learn to pick their battles. They should've let this payroll tax pass with no issue whatsoever. The bind they put themselves in is now trying to justify the massive Bush tax cuts that will be expiring in 2012 and that would need to be extended either through reconciliation (would require the Republicans to gain a super majority in the Senate) or get enough Democrats on board to overcome a filibuster. They've essentially refuted their own argument that tax cuts pay for themselves and that raising taxes on people wouldn't hurt the economy. Next year's election will come down to two big issues: the Supreme Court's review of the Obama healthcare bill (my gut says they'll leave it in place with some demands to replace the individual mandate) and the fight over renewing the Bush tax cuts. Either way, Republicans will lose on both issues. I must say that by voting unanimously to reject the two month compromise, the Republicans in the House have raised the fire in Obama's belly.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Scott

    It is time for the citizens to rise up and vote these clowns out of office. They are only concerned with grandstanding for themselves. This congress has been the worst in American History going back to the pre civil war days.

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

    This is a shining example of why congressman need term limits. We need to vote them all out of office. Especially the Republicans.

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

    Republicans threatened to shut down all productivity in congress unless the democrats extended the tax cuts for the rich (ya, we still remember that), the democrats caved (they're democrats, caving in is practically a given at this point... and the republicans have still shut down congress... no jobs bills, no tax cuts for the average guys, no help for small businesses. They're like angry four year olds who get all huffy when they don't get EVERYTHING they want.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. robert brinkerhoff

    Boehner is a coward. he is blocking a vote that he is afraid he'll lose. The real losers are the American people. Doesn't he know this is supposed to be a democracy?

    December 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Down with Congress

    This is ridiculous...

    1) Both Congress and the President should be charged with high treason. To expect an average family who earns $50k/year (I assume gross pay )to pay an additional $1,000 in taxes, is horrid. What will the members of Congress eat? (NOTHING) NO ONE should be re-elected in 2012.

    2) This isn't the first time this pi**ing contest has happened with Boehner sitting at the helm. What about the prospect to not pay members of the military, or those congressional aides (the people that can least afford it)

    Congress and the President of the United States...TAKE HEED...I for one will not be voting for ANY of you in 2012...

    Sincerely,
    A disappointed American Citizen

    December 20, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. tony

    I . . . . WILL . . . . . NOW . . . . . . VOTE. . . . AGAINST . . . . . REPUBLICANS . . . . . .FOREVER . . . . . . .

    December 20, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. SkyKing

    I would agree with the House Republicans IF . . .
    their plan included making all Federal governement employees, including them, participate in Social Security,
    their plan included paying back the loan from Social Security with an increase in SS taxes after 2012,
    their plan included removing the earnings cap for paying SS taxes,
    their plan included an upward adjustment in SS taxes to match the current and projected numbers of people who can work and pay into the program with the numbers of people who cannot work and receive the basic safety net payments, as people live longer.
    But since their plan doesn't, they are only obstructionists, not interested in fixing the system, only being 'king of the mountain'. How childish. All House members are up for re-election in 2012. Fire every Republican who won't vote to approve the Senate version or a bill with the provisions listed above.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jack

    It is time for everyone in this country to learn that you cannot continue to spend more than your income, whether a family or a country.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. a934222

    As a Republican voter, I am deeply concerned where my party is going, they do not even seem rational anymore, and admittedly makes the Dems look like the adults in the room, shame on them for destroying my fate on them.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. friday

    this tax cut is dangerous, it is a cut in Social Security funding (already in the red). It is not a reduction in income taxes

    December 20, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      If this cut is so dangerous to future SS, then you should do it right. End the cap of 110,000. You make 60,000 you pay 6.2% on it. You make 1,000,000 you pay 6.2% on it.

      December 20, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Will Downing

    I thought social security was going broke? Why should we cut social security taxes in the first place unless we cut benefits? Why don't we just cut all of the social security taxes... that would save the average taxpayer over $4,000.00 a year and the average business the same.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      The only reason it is going broke is because in good times, Congress siphons money out of it. Otherwise it would be doing much better than it currently is.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
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