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. Allen/Tulsa

    How far can the Republicians in the House go to make a complete ass out of themselves? This last thing is unbelieveable.

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

    I am tired of hearing Speaker Boehner say, "the American people want...". He obviously does not know what the American people want if Congress's approval rating is at 11 percent.

    We need term limits for Congress!!

    December 20, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Leaveit2beav

    I really don't care anymore what the issues are, the fact is that all I hear about is bipartisanship and fighting, who is for Americans and who isn't? Or are they just fighting all the time because that's the only thing they are good at? If a Repub candidate got in office we would be fighting 5 wars and they would put a tax on incoming shipments of oil so they could have some money for themselves.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. benji

    The GOP's racist hatred toward President Obama is appalling. If McCain had won and wanted to extend these tax cuts they would be beating down the door to approve them. I can't wait until Nov, because I am voting for every Democrat I can!

    December 20, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Leaveit2beav

    the only answer: lets fire our government I'm tired of them all.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. GIll

    The GOP only care about, lining wealthy pockets with more money, the Tea Party and their rich lobbyist friends. They care NOTHING about the middle class in this country. Off they go to enjoy their christmas no doubt flying 1st class, to their million dollar plus homes, when they should be staying at work fixing this, not letting any bodies tax go up at all Jan 1st. They say they care about the people of this country, they are liers, they only care about themselves. Throw them out next year America.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. John

    I think the American people's campaign slogan for 2012 should be "Throw the rascals out ! " A core task of the Congress is to run the country. A task the current Congress has failed miserably at completing for years now, mostly due to legislators being focused more on maintaining ideological purity and keeping their jobs rather than practical solutions (which usually takes compromise) and helping the American people solve their issues (which usually takes viable decisions and actions rather than stump speech rhetoric). If it's necessary to assign blame, I think there's plenty to go around and probably could be distributed fairly equally. Bottom line is, the American people should fire these folks for non-performance and higher a new bunch who, probably, could do no worse. As Will Rogers put it, "If the opposite of pro is con then the opposite of progress must be Congress."

    December 20, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. sls

    As a Federal employee, I can't figure out what's worse – the payroll tax increase if they do nothing (as usual) OR paying for the payroll tax by freezing my pay another year AND paying more for my retirement contribution. Either way – I think I break even – so who cares.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Fred

    I hate to say it, but at some point we're going to have to overthrow these clowns. Not enough of the educated 99% vote...

    December 20, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mikey T.

    To all you folks who think the Republicans are going to take care of the little guy/middle class.........I have ocean front property in Nebraska to sell you

    December 20, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd in DC

      Well, if you take that whole "waves of grain" thing literally...

      December 20, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. RUFFNUTT (pit bull trainer)

    congress would be the best job ever... i bet you i work harder at pizza hut..

    December 20, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. knowno

    Owwww anybody got any vasoline cause this big one really hurts.... I think I'll get hemroids from this one. Thanks GOP for the GBD!!!!!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jrhodeisland

    Look at Boehners arrogant face. Those of you waiting on the tax break better be happy if two months passes. Everything with this congress needs more time. Computers can tally what the people do and do not want accomplished. Maybe Congress in its present form is no longer viable in a high tech world. I'm feeling the Will of the People is getting lost here.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Leaveit2beav

    I love the way the media likened the Tea Party to the Occupy folks. They are a world apart in views and the Tea Partiers are ultra Right wing and the Occupy folks are ultra Left wing you dumb media idiots. I believe in the Occupy movement and wish they could come up with candidates who come from the "real" America.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michigander

      Actually at the beginning OWS was very similar to the tea party in the aspect that it carried libertarian ideals, as time went on, OWS changed from Libertarian to "Take care of me government" at least that's what i gather from their "demands" that they had listed.

      December 20, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Animal Farm

      OWS' agenda is to suckle a little longer on their momma's teets.... Tea baggers want to take control of their own destiny – NO COMMONALITY WHATSOEVER.

      December 20, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Uncle Rink

    Are the Republican House members going nuts? Postponing the re-instatement of the payroll tax break for 2 months does NOT force businesses to "reprogram their computer systems" for only a 2-month period. They just won't reprogram them for another 2 months, and maybe not for another year. If the majority of the Senate, including the Republican hierachy agreed, then please get the job done for the holidays and remove any more ammunition you're giving the Dems for an attack on GOP common sense.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leaveit2beav

      GOP common sense? is there such a thing? I guess it is common sense to try to line your own pocket with money if that is the type of common sense you are talking about?

      December 20, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Animal Farm

      Leaveit2beav – GOP and Dems are equally crooked. Don't cast stones when you only need to look at Chicago for a real time update on the Dems behaviours....

      December 20, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • WW

      GOP "Common Sense"? The old GOP school (1980's), I'd say YES. But ever since the GOP had control of the White House and Capitol (2001-2007), that "common sense" was replaced with greed and self-serving agendas... the "good" was replaced with a perception of rewarding "job creators" but instead was nothing more than sugar coating an evil that has sent our country down the toilet.

      I say flush the GOP down the toilet, especially Boehner and Cantor and their rhetoric crap.

      December 20, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
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