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. Charuz

    I'm a single mom who owns her own retail business. If these tax cuts are not extended, the situation will have impact on my ability to feed my family. At $1000, I'm looking at coming up with money for 10 weeks' worth of food, etc. As a business owner, my clients will not have the extra cash to shop and my business will hurt. I am not worried about the wealthy–I saw no negative impact in their shopping habits during the economic crisis, but they are not what keeps my business going, it's everyone else who will hurt just as much as I will. And, no, I will not be able to replace two of my employees who are leaving, so no cuts to the middle class working person will damage everyone involved. Thanks GOP for not caring.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlene

      It's not like you can't put your kids in foster care. Good lord, get a grip all ready.

      December 20, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Leaveit2beav

    Why in the world would any regular wage earning American be a Republican? Somebody tell me quick, before November.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leaveit2beav

      I do remember meeting a young Republican once, they had an IQ of -2

      December 20, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mikey T.

      Only the "clueless" can tell you, beav. And those who have a hard time sorting out fact from fiction.

      December 20, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leaveit2beav

      I remember all they did was argue against whatever you said, it was insanity, they took opposition for breathing air, drinking water, eating food... just like that little baby who didn't like money in that commercial except that, the issue about money was the only thing they agreed upon. They wanted to hurt poor people to make money.

      December 20, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • friday

      Most wage earning americans vote Rep. they pay attention to details – this payroll tax is a bad idea, it puts the social security trust fund at greater risk...go back to your tent at whatever park

      December 20, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Telluride

      I think you are a repub and you think that most other people are as ... If the "payroll tas cut is poorly thought out" who put it there in the first place, smarty?

      December 20, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lets Produce

      Can you say, Brainwashed.

      December 20, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • JonPeter

      Why would a successful upper middle class worker or small business owner be a democrat ??? ...or a republican either. Somewhere between socilaism and fundamantalist conservatism there are people who understand this country needs to pay our bills, not promise more than we can afford and allow the harder working and more successful people keep the labors of their efforts. Good governance costs some money, and everyone should pay their share the wealthy and the low paying wage earner. Neither the favor the rich, nor the share the wealth (of the middle class) works. Time to kick both the right and the left to the curb. Right is mean spirited toward those unfotunate at the bottom of the heap, the left is mean spirited toward the successful hard working.

      December 20, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. RUFFNUTT (pit bull trainer)

    congress is laughing at you...lol keep voting it deosnt matter who you vote for lol!!!! your all doomed!!

    December 20, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mikey T.

      that's spelled dOEsn't.

      December 20, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. msmarshon

    The House Reps should be thrown out of office. NO to the pipeline and NO to further negotications. I think this is just a ploy to harm the economy and make Obama look worse heading into the elections.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Pcahontas

    The house republicans, especially those who are of the tea party persuasion, seem to be completely disconnected from the world most American voters live in today. With each passing day, it becomes more apparent that Obama will win re-election, democrats will retain the Senate and the democrats may well pull off regaining the House - all because the republicans have chosen to engage in activities and render voting decisions that continue to erode the American middle class. No, I'm not drinking the kool aid of democrats. I'm just watching Boehner and the House try to not make all republicans appear like Scrooge at Christmastime with their refusal to pass a two month extension and adjourn to fight that battle in a new year. Talk about dumb politicians - "Doing the Bah Humbug on Working Americans" is about to become the #1 Anti-Tea Party theme song of democrats and many independents in 2012.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • friday

      this payroll tax cut is poorly thought out, it puts the social security trust at risk....

      December 20, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • ZDuckLvr

      If the payroll tax cut should be shot down because we are running out of money our Social Security area, under what fools administration did we have this outrageous thing put in place?

      December 20, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Furious

      The Scrooge shoe is going to fit the Republicans perfectly. Give to the poor? Are there no workhouse?

      December 20, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sarah G

    Our government is failing us. This on going party war has got to stop who cares if you are democrat, who cares is you are republican, in all honestly who cares what party you belong too. You represent the American people so quit arguing about trivial matters and get something done. Instead of acting like a Congress the Congress is acting like they little children arguing...its their fault no is your fault....guess what it is both parties fault. Obama looks like a idiot not forcing the Senate to come back to work things out.

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

    I say fire all of them or stop paying THEM. If i don't do my job, I am gone. If they can't do theirs why do they get paid??? Perhaps the money we save by not paying Congress to help pay some government bills!!

    December 20, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |


    December 20, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lets Produce

    Is it possible that our congress representatives are being gassed by a leaking furnace? Their behavior would seem to indicate an impairment of some type. Should there be a mandatory drug test when they exhibit bazaar behavior? Someone really needs to get to the bottom of this before they hurt the American people any further.

    December 20, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. westward40

    response to Ray re my post about Fox News and American general public:
    No, I didn't call anyone names, or talk about anyone killing babies and elderly. I commented on what I observe in my daily life. As far as having a conversation, yours included these statements mentioned as well as responding to posts of others simply by being contrary, without actually offering any real insight into your own experience, as I have. Grow up.

    December 20, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. A1American

    I think the Repubs should be happy at this point in history they are probably making the most money of anybody all from their fleecing of America. The Repubs are the ones that aren't hurt by the recession, in fact, they are profiting from it, they dare tell no one, but other Repubs, how they as Slave Driver squashed the hopes of the mindless wage earners once again.

    December 20, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jlf

    email Boehner at speaker.gov and let him know directly how you feel. i just read that the House adjorned and went home for the holiday, leaving the tax cut matter unresolved. what a bunch of self-absorbed,egotistical, selfish bullies who have now proven to us that we, the American people, our country, our economy, and our future are not their main priorities, their holiday vacation is.

    December 20, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. A1American

    I would think an outcry of 2.5 million emails would be seen by Repubs as an attack on Homeland Security and all 2.5 million emailers would be rounded up and put away in some dark prison never to be heard from again.

    December 20, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. nooneinparticuler

    Can someone tell me where the intelligent people have gone on this planet? There is a large group of people out and about demonstrating about who really knows what, while the government steals you blind. We continue to pay these people and give them great benefits for jobs we would all be fired for the first week. Granted they are voted into office, but shouldn't they be held accountable for the pay they are receiving? I wonder how much money would be available if these imbeciles were placed on a pay for performance plan, and how many would even show up to work. It doesn't matter anymore what party you follow. I doubt a handful could be found doing the job they were put there to do. Oh wait, they seem to be highly qualified to lie to you, cheat you, and ignore you. Wake up people! If we're only here until Dec of 2012, I for one want to go out knowing I've done what I could to improve the world and as many lives as possible.

    December 20, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Westgrl

    I'm so sick of the poor & middle class being held hostage by Congress. If this was a tax cut for the rich, you can get bet Boehner & his posse would be passing away anything given to them. Would a longer plan be better? Of course! But you are just going to walk away & go on holiday leave & leave millions of people in the dark. Not knowing if their taxes are about to shoot up or unemployment benefits end? And this after the economy was finally starting to show signs of improvement with higher than expected holiday spending. Boehner is the Grinch stealing what would be an otherwise happy holiday from millions of families. Stop using the middle class as pawns & do your job!

    December 20, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
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