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. Bob

    This two month extension is a joke! Another "kick the can down the road" democrat move. Remember how the debt ceiling debate created this "committee" that would make the hard decisions. Here we go again...can't make the hard decisions now so lets try to do it in two months. RIDICULOUS!! God help this country if Obama gets another 4 years.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. stormy123

    Boehner is a lame duck speaker as far as Im concerned....he lost the ability to think for himself about two years ago....he is just a pawn for the Tea Party. The real issue is if America is going to follow the will of the MAJORITY.....or Grover Norquist, the Tea Party, the AMA, the Koch Brothers. Thats whats at stake now. We are seeing the erosion of their infuence slowly. The American people are figuring it out finally. The end result will be a thriving economy thanks to Obama next year, with low inflation and regulatrion to control the financial sector. The Republikooks will be out in the house and possibly the senate and we will move forward with Obamas jobs plan which woulf help small businesses such as myself who employ 7 of 10 Americans. I cant wait to kick these tea party morons out next year!

    December 20, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Lynne

    I love how their oath to Mr. Nordquist (SP) goes out the window when it comes to the middle class and poor but you better not touch those billionaires!!!! If you are the party of no tax hikes, why are you raising my taxes??? what a bunch of hypocrites! They must think we are all pretty darn stupid!

    December 20, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Coflyboy

    The GOP is a disgrace to the "common folk" American people. I hope that America wakes up to the facts, and we will seek revenge come voting day. Do they really believe they stand a chance anymore? I think they have shot themselves in the foot once too often.
    Traitors to my country, and to they people they are supposed to represent.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. robert payne

    I have always been and will always be a republican, but damn boys, Grover has you dancing to a tune that 2/3's of America disagrees with, you need to come to Jesus or you will find your cans in the unemployment line...

    December 20, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joe

    The only reason the left wing loons want to pass something for just two months is so that they can repeat their talking points during that time frame. What about "we can't wait for jobs". If we can't wait, then why is the President waiting on the Keystone Pipeline. It is due to the fact that he is afraid of the lefty treehuggers in his party!

    December 20, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Darrell Gains

    Thank god Boehner is standing up to the Senate. Two months planning would sink most businesses. $500 dollars a year works out to less than $10 dollars a week. Try to go to MacDonalds and feed three kids with that. We need real change, not a two month fix. So what if the Senate was going to come back from break ready to work out a compromise. They work for me and I want it done now. Pass the pipeline deal. Cut as many federal jobs as it takes to balance the budget. I'm sorry for the federal employees, but that's what you get when you make your living off of other people having jobs and paying taxes.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • nrog

      Interesting idea that Derrell Gains proposes: build the pipeline to create jobs, and cut as many Federal workers as necessary to balance the budget. That's great. To balance the budget, you'd have to fire about 30 million Federal workers. Now, there is a good tradeoff for adding 10,000 jobs for the pipeline! Here's a better idea – build the pipeline if it can be shown to be a safe and effective solution. Otherwise, don't. Either way, it has nothing to do with the payroll tax cut unless you enjoy political extortion as public policy.

      December 20, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Leaveit2beav

    You need to be a real idiot to back any of this nonsense, everybody is fighting in Washington and they think we aren't watching?? A two month extension? lets extend the debt ceiling for a few months, so we don't have to worry about it until the voters hit the booths. Oh and by the way, by the time they are done bickering the two months is up DING DING... DING DONGS....

    December 20, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. STLgirl

    The complete lack of functionality in Congress is absolutely frustrating to those of us who depend on these people to pass legislation. We, as taxpayers, pay them to do their jobs. My question at this juncture is: Why are these people still getting paid? If I went to work everyday and did nothing, I'd be fired. Period.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Atul Chaudhary

    Some people don't understand the politics or I should say that they want to play blind so that their ideas can be promoted. Obama wants this payroll tax to hang till next November so that he can beat republicans. Come on 60 days doesn't do anything. He should shutup and sign the extension for 1 year. If he wins, it will be his baby, if he doesn't win, he wouldn't have to worry about it. Don't play politics with our money.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. cfos00

    Let me get this straight. Boehner asks for a compromise in the Senate, actually gets a bipartisan one that passes at a 90% clip (in today's congress, that's freakin' incredible), then has the gall to try and insult the Senate's and the average American's intelligence by saying that it's not even worth a vote. How does that make any logical sense? All he does is try and represent the far right. He hasn't shown anything that makes me think he cares at all about citizens, just the far right of the Republican party.

    Oh, and why is the pipeline even involved in this? It has absolutely nothing to do with taxes. If that doesn't scream catering to special interests, nothing does.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ellen

    Honestly, I wish the media would stop referring to this as a "payroll tax" because people then mistakenly believe it refers to their federal income tax. This tax "break" simply cut how much individuals contributed to social security, which made this the first year social security took in less money than it paid out. They will try to convince you this is due to more people retiring, rather than being clear that the tax "break" insured less money went into funding social security. It's an important point to keep clear http://www.npr.org/2011/12/07/143241709/how-payroll-tax-cut-affects-social-securitys-future

    December 20, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jkiller

    Let me make sure I understand. Boehner wants to extend the tax cut a full year not 60 days and he's the bad guy. Please.
    You can't be serious.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • DP

      Lets rephrase what you just said. Boehner is willing to extend a tax cut 1 year, yet he is opposed to doing it for 2 months for starters. What's wrong with this picture, what's wrong with him and his GOP buddies?

      December 20, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. DG

    Again, it's the "little guy" who is holding the short end of the stick. The republicans vowed not to pass anything the democrats proposed. Remember the summer debt ceiling debacle? It affected even the stock market.... and again they are pulling the same thing, playing with people's lives. These tax cuts were implemented by BUSH, a republican. I have faithfully watched all the republican debates. Looking and listening for some sanity. And they offer none. However, it does provide amusement. I believe Congress should not be allowed to vacation or get paid until this bill passes. It was almost there and then the republications tacked on about the pipeline. The republicans want to get rid of the EPA and who will care about the little guy. These representatives represent BIG BUSINESS (lobbyists) AND THE 1%. I am sick of it. If there was any doubt about who to vote for.... they will be seeing a big sign on my front lawn.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |

      The Republicans are already try to get rid of the EPA, by blocking funding for them under the guise of "BIG GOVERNMENT". Just look at all of the things they are trying to cut funding from under that pretense. Play to the big corporations that own them.

      December 20, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ken

    The GOP can't possibly keep doing this. I know there is blame to go around but the House Republicans have seriously undermined America's economic stability on a consistent basis.

    America will fight back in 2012.

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