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. nikosan

    This Dog and Pony show is Saddening and disgraceful. They ALL look like Imbeciles, Baffoons. My 4 year old can conduct herself better. I really HATE Washington DC. I want the entire West coast to seceed from the USA.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      If you guys could do that...I know a lot of people on east side of this country would come over and join you!! From the look and sound of this mess I would say to my middle class brothers and sisters: Don't be hatin to hard on the poorest of the poor because you are going to need their help to navigate the lines at the Food Stamp office by the time this joke of a congress gets done with us.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Katie

    I want to smack Boehner across the head with a dictionary, then make him look up the definition to the word COMPROMISE. I'll give him a hint: It does NOT mean getting everything you want by throwing a temper tantrum.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Leaveit2beav

    They play their games and regular Americans suffer.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. stormy123

    Eric Cantor is the biggest scam artist....he made a fortune off betting against treasuries and clearly does NOT care about American families or small business that is ttrying to create jobs......his agenda and the Tea party is take down Obama at all cost even if it means losing millions of American jobs and destroying this great country...

    December 20, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mrs. Joi

    There are more middle class and poor americans than there is rich and wealthy, the GOP had better recognize who they better help. Otherwise I can't wait for a Democrate ran Senate and House because the GOP will defintely be getting the boot in 2012 election year starting with Eric Cantor and Boehner. This will make president Obamas job much easier. The GOP candidates are all a joke especially Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, and Herman Cain I can't stop laughing when I think about his over pompus ass.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leaveit2beav

      Mrs. Joi is right on, these guys are brawlers not politicians. I also laugh at the GOP idiots, especially Newt. He's the dorkiest of them all posing like they want your vote. I hope they all get 0% of the votes.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |

    Congress sux. Make them work until the 23rd and again on the 27th like the rest of us.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. David Smith

    @friday – this tax cut is covered by the increased fees and other cuts. As for SSA being in the red, they were technically in the red, in that what they brought in via FICA was about $46B less than paid out – but there is the issue of the over $100B in interest on the federal bonds which offset that $46B.

    As for it not doing much good, consider that a $1000/year average works out to $3.04 BILLION left in the economy PER WEEK. I came to that conclusion based on an average of $19/week ($1000/52 weeks) that would be left on people's paychecks, and knowing that MOST people would just spend that, rather than bank it or invest it.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. AllegedlyDave

    I am thrilled by what is happening. Finally, the middle class will be directly smacked in the face by the GOP and realize, at long last, that the Tea Party representatives in the House are simpleton's without decency. As long as negative crap happens to others, Americans remain blissfully ignorant. But now? Now it's a direct assault and it will be remembered in the 2012 election. The Republicans should really be in favor of extending unemployment benefits since they'll be out of a job in just over a year.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jerry

    All members of Congress should have their salary's taken away, their family 's put on Medicare/Medicade, and removal of their GOLD lined pensions (which we are paying for)

    They should also be impeached before Christmas, 2011 !

    December 20, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Egon

    This is why the parliamentary System has a feature known as the "No Confidence Vote." It's a failsafe measure to prevent just this type of thing from happening; a failure of government. Sadly – While Congress argues and plays macho "shut down the government" games, we are falling farther behind the rest of the industrialized world.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Warren Lipton

    time to stop paying these self-serving useless individuals. then see how interested they are in serving the country !

    December 20, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. watts107

    The only reason that Big Oil wants the Keystone XL oil pipeline in the tax cut legislation is because it cannot stand the "light of day" on its own. This pipeline is a national security disaster, an economic security disaster and an energy security disaster. If Big Oil gets that oil to the gulf ports, it will be sold all over the world to the highest bidder. They will get more filthy rich while the oil fields of Canada and the Western States are drained of oil. This destroys our national security, energy security and economic security. America must have low cost energy to compete world wide. Millions of jobs can be created in the US via low cost energy, not just a few jobs digging a trench and burying pipe that is probably made in China. Remember when Big Oil told us that gas and diesel prices were rising because we did not have enough refinery capacity, and now we suddenly have excess capacity in Texas. Really!!

    December 20, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |

    What is so frightening about the GOP House is that some of them are young enough to continue to breed.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Darkwolf

    I know it'll take over a Year... but let's Impeach Boehner now. He and his Party are Traitors.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Huh? the 2 mos is worth $160 the people voted for exactly what the repubs r doing......proposing long term solutions

      Harry and the absentee Pres....its time for them to go.......PLEASE!!!!

      December 20, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Leaveit2beav

    If anybody reads this, please please don't vote for any GOP candidates, the GOP is a dying breed, their views no longer represent the regular Americans in any stretch of the imagination. Lets find government workers who want to help our country.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
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