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. falcon63

    Isnt it funny how much power the Kockane brothers have over congress. They place a call to the speaker of the house and he stalls the vote on payroll tax. They call the supreme court and Citizens United becomes an unprecedented law. Who needs Kim Jung Il with the likes of them in the world. Whatever they want becomes law and whatever they dont want dies in committee. It is time we face the real terrorist threat to our country and it comes in the name of Koch.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. James

    Most of Congress people only care about where the money comes from. They only care about themselves and getting re-elected so they can all become millionaires. Why should they do what's the best for the whole country when their incentive is to make themselves and their friends all rich. We need a strong third party opposition to balance things out for the good of the country.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. American voter

    Once again both sides are appeasing their lobbyists while hurting the American people and economy. Enough is enough and lets vote all these failures out of office. For the people...REALLY?!!

    December 20, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dennis

    Maybe we need our own "Arab Spring" here in the United States!

    "A house divided against itself cannot stand."

    December 20, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phillfoss

      Your right, Americans need to get angry. Their doing this because we are allowing it....

      December 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bryan

    The two month extension wouldn't help much but it at least it buys time and is an invitation to more negotiations. That counts for something. The GOP seems to be trying everything they can to keep things in the crapper so they can point the finger at Obama for not fixing the economy. The pipeline isn't going to be a big job creator. The work will be contracted out and that contractor may need to hire additional workers but not enough to significantly lower the unemployment rate. Plus they would be temporary jobs anyway. The pipeline should not be used as a bargaining chip. Its going to pump in oil that WE ALREADY GET from Canada. In fact, we import more oil from Canada than anywhere else.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • stevel

      Here's a question why run the pipeline all the way to the gulf? Build a new Refinery somewher einthe midwest, either on the river or a rail line....refine the oil and ship it out.....don't send it to the gulf...storms, ship in back.....put one in ND, or if you want somewhere on the missouri river......Makes no sense to take it to the gulf.....

      December 20, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joe

    Its really time to start planning to vote out all these elected officials with people who will hopefully do something other then collect a huge paycheck and super perks... what a disgrace!!! They should all be ashamed of themselves

    December 20, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ..a laurel and hardy handshake


    December 20, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Tammi

    Fire all of the congress, then try them for treason!

    December 20, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. C. K. Justice

    Cantor will do anything he can to get Beohner voted out of the speakers job for he wants to be the speaker and is calling the shots and Boehner is too stupid to realize it or he knows and will not cross Cantor. It is a good thing I am not the speaker, we would hold a vote and live with the outcome.
    That is the problem, Cantor knows the deal will pass the house for enough members know if they do not they will not be reelected in Novermber so Cantor does not want the bill come to the floor and Boehner does not have the guts to bring it to the floor. Both are chicken, stupid and would rather try to make points with the republicans who try hide behind the tea party label for they are ashamed to admit they are republican in and out of congress.
    It is time for the people to get on the phone and write letters with overnight delivery to OUR EMPLOYEES AND TELL THEM WHO IS BOSS, THEY ARE THE WORKERS, THE VOTERS ARE THE BOSSES!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    December 20, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tricia Allin

    The Republicans want the same policies that got us into this mess in the first place. If tax cuts for billionaires and deregulation of business and Wall Street worked, we should be in clover now – we did that in spades during the 8 year Bush fiasco. What was that definition of insanity? Doing the same things expecting different results. Well, the rich are richer than ever in history, paying less in taxes than in 100 years, and less than in any other industrialized nation...so..where are those jobs? And the deregulation frenzy (started with Reagan, and ramped up under Gingrich_ has to date brought us the S&L debacle, Enron and the near collapse of the markets at the end of the Bush fiasco. Funny how ALL modern western democracies are to the left of us, not the right. In fact, where have their policies worked for the good of the majority..anywhere? Any time? How about NEVER.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • stormy123

      Spot on!

      December 20, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • stormy123

      Let us not forget that there are 138 Republican millionaires in the House...while the rest of the country suffers these people get to raise taxes on the middle class and keep taxes low on themselves and the rich for Christmas! America, whats wrong with this picture? VOTE OUT EVERY REPUBLICAN IN 2012, AMERICA!!!!!!

      December 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. stormy123

    Eric Cantor must think he is God's gift to mankind....and the only sane person left in Congress....everyone else is crazy. Thats usually what megalo maniacs and crazy people do....

    December 20, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Les

    When will the citizens of the United States of America wake up to the fact that Democrat or Republican they all play a shell game with us and continue to work towards lining their own pockets wit the estimated $7 trillion dollars a year that pass through DC each year from local, state and federal taxes.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JD

    Gee , we have some checks left so we must have the money! Time to wake up, this is just adding more debt with no solution in sight. These so called tax cuts were temporary. Where is the money coming from? This country needs to grow up and understand we are leveraged to the hilt. Your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will carry the burden. You can tax the 1% 100% and still be trillions in debt.

    We need the tax cuts to buy I Phones, I Pads, Big screen TVs all made in China. Merry Christmas Beijing.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Baron Baucom

    See its the average American citizen who's the idiots because who would keep voting for repulicans knowing their just for the rich and won't let no legislation through that dont line their pockets. so blame your stupid selves unless your Rich. And I know there can't be that many rich people in America. Stop being so stupid America!

    December 20, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. P Hod

    Most of these respondents are forgetting how often Harry Reid refused to allow votes in the Senate on Republican measures. This is why the Senate has this 2 month extension which cannot even be implementedby payroll offices. The democrats will not even listen to the Republican concerns. They just talk about how the Republicans want people to die

    December 20, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
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