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. DanW

    I think that the House Republicans should be applauded for voting, en masse, to show Grover Norquist that they are not his toadies. By voting to allow taxes to be raised they have shown their independence from the pledge that they made (and have to rely on Grover to tell periodically what it means). Such courage should be recognized at the ballot box next election.

    December 20, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Truth Monitor

      Are you serious? Y^ou're OK with the middle class getting a tax hike while all those earning over 106K get NO tax hike? There is something seriously wrong with that. And it's exactly what the GOP wants...they could give two sheetz about raising taxes on the middle class! They do not want their wealthy donors to get 'hurt'. That means they're really just liars.

      December 20, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Chuck88888

    The payroll tax cut was passed last year and was written to expire in a year. What is the fuss, we will just be returning to tax rates from just 13 months ago? This tax cut was meant to be temporary and should expire for the fiscal health of the Social Security system.

    If we want lower taxes (since liberals now finally agree with conservatives that lower tax rates encourage economic growth), Congress should lower the personal income tax by 2% or take the 2% payroll tax reduction and apply to individual retirement accounts instead.

    December 20, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Kaufman, Oceanside, CA

      Chuck nothing changes until you get a control of the over spending and balance the books; that is, does a set of books even exist? Reduced income in the form of tax revenues and you must reduce your spending habits.

      December 20, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. David

    Let's get history correct folks. The House first passed payroll tax relief for 1 year extension last week, then Senate passes a 2-month payroll tax extension. Offering a two month extension is a freeking joke. It is the Senate that is screwed up and can't pass any substantive legislation.

    December 20, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Kaufman, Oceanside, CA

      We in California have two Bird Brains in the Senate, and what is worse the one just got re-elected, and guess what Calfornia you will never hear from her again until it is time to get her re-elected for another 6 years, what a bunch of FOOLS the voting population of CA is!

      December 20, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dave

    This whole "tax cut" is a sham. Why would anyone want to devise a plan where less money is flowing into Social Security? That is exactly what this supposed tax cut does.

    The government doesn't want you to think about it that way because it doesn't make sense. Wouldn't the smarter "tax cut" be covered by reducing spending? But.... congress (yes, both democrats and republicans) and the president don't want you to think about it that way.

    So... now we screw Social Security for millions and millions of dollars which will bankrupt that system many years earlier than it is supposed to be. Wake up prople and see what the government is doing to us (the middle class)!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chuck88888

      Dave, common sense, like your post, is in short supply these days.

      December 20, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Kaufman, Oceanside, CA

      Guess what Dave, the idots in Washington ,just authorized a pay increase for all of the Social Security people, and just how are they, Washington going to pay for this? Answer they are NOT, it is just increased DEBT pass on to the working public. You Dave just got screwed again.

      December 20, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. descarado

    Why are we tampering with the ONLY funding for Social Security to begin with?

    December 20, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. hiworld1964

    Ultimately, Obama can't lead....and I voted for him. So now whom do I trust?

    December 20, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Truth Monitor

      You best NOT trust the GOP...if you know what's good for you. But then, most of the US population doesn't 'know' what's good for them. Therein lies the real problem.

      December 20, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Barry Hanlon

    Why do we still need representatives in this age of technology? Would we be better served with a "think tank" and the 1-800-000-000 vote on bills affecting Americans? This is a democracy I thought!

    December 20, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chuck88888

      Sorry Barry, but the USA is not a democracy, it is a representive republic. Democracy is simply mob rule.

      December 20, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. descarado

    Do Obama and Harry Reid think the voters are THAT stupid? Well, they did give the Village Idiot a box of matches to play with in 2008.

    December 20, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. REEKO

    The GOP didn't just want a full year extension. They wanted it on their terms. The dems just wanted an extension of the tax cuts without strings. I guess the gop finally found a tax cut they didn't like. Namely a tax cut that benefits people who make less than $250,000 per year.

    December 20, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Chuck

    Close down USAID and use the 800 million here in the United States to fix our own problems, starting with Social Security... Cut the US Dept of Energy in half, and use that money to begin to fix medicare...
    Then lets vote all the idiots in Wash DC out of office, (Both Partys) and start fresh with elected officials who only serve one 6 year term for Senators, and 5 year terms for Representatives...

    December 20, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. TheyHelp ReelectHim

    The House Republicans are doing ALL they can to get President Obama re-elected in 2012! That much is known. This issue will fall right back on them when every working American starts paying the extra $1,000. next year that they could have avoided by going with the Democratic plan! The Democrats will be waiting in the wings for this to happen with well-deserved Republican blame but the Republicans are Most Proud to go on record as making Americans pay the extra $1,000. next year! They feel the Middle Class and the Poor can well afford the $1,000. since they (the Republicans) carry that around as pocket change. And let's face it, Voters, you CAN afford $1,000 extra dollars to save the Republican's hide can't you? Be proud of your Republicans who stood in the Senate's way so you can be CHARGED the extra $1,000. next year! Be Proud because with this they will most assuredly get even other Republicans to Vote for Obama in 2012!! Thanks Republicans! Didn't know you liked the President that much to try this ploy to Assure His Re-Election! But now we know.

    December 20, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • WakeUpPlze

      Both parties are to blame...and try to remember who has left Washington to go home while January 1st is right around the corner. A 2 month extension is just as bad as Obamacare being shoved thru Congress and into law overnight while we all slept. Both parties are to blame, and if the Democrats, including Reid and Pelosi...want to earn and points...should get the Senate back to Washington to show that they do care. Reid and Pelosi are whining and pouting like two little babies.

      December 20, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • YoullNow PayMore

      WakeUpPlze, you are SO wrong in what you are saying! With the Democratic Plan you and everyone else would have AVOIDED having to pay the extra $1,000. next year but with the Republicans standing in the way you will now HAVE to pay it! That's the bottom line. It's not the Democrat's fault. It's the Republican's! They are the ones to BLAME in this but they prefer Politics over Saving the Taxpayer money. Well, there you have it. You'll all have to pay with their plan and Non-Action whereas you would not have had to pay with the Democrat's plan. So, go figure!

      December 20, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Truth Monitor

      Right on! Now isn't it IRONIC??

      December 20, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. sunniejam77

    The bottom line is both sides are there to represent US, the people. They have forgotten this. They are more interested in pushing their own agenda across. Why not? There's no consequences for any of them, all of them are set for life with their cushy pensions and lifetime healthcare. Tax cuts not happening and unemployment not being extended don't affect their pocketbooks. I am totally disgusted with Congress. This is the worst do-nothing congress EVER! I say we vote every single one of them out of office. John Boehner is the worst Speaker of the House ever. His agenda is to do whatever it takes so that the President fails. The only thing is, if the President fails, we all fail. The whole Congress should be ashamed of themselves. They can't get anything accomplished. Meanwhile, who pays the price? WE do!

    December 20, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ratetat

    I still think each state should recall every senator and congressman regardless of party that is not up for election next November. The only problem is whether enough of us really give a damn to do it and just who would we elect to replace the bad? Let's see...to actually be elected you have to be either Democrat or Repulblican, good looking to some degree, a more charismatic speaker then your opponents; being filthy rich will help; able to lie like any good politician because; able to skirt around ansswering questions, etc. etc. etc. Its hopeless. You can't fix our problems until we hit rock bottom...and then its a revolution. And wouldn't that be remarkable to see the U.S.A. caught up in. And wouldn't it be a bloody mess.

    December 20, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Electroguy

    Since 2009, over 30 states have raised taxes. Many, like Illinois, increased the State Tax by the 2% cut from SS. Dont tell me this is an economy killer, because its not. Its a raid on Social Security...

    December 20, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dan Reed

    Of all the Congressmen and Congresswomen combined, 58% are multi-millionaires coming in to office, and while there, get to vote on pay schedules awarding themselves salaries 4 times greater than that of the average American. Fiscal austerity and a lack of urgency comes easy in this light.

    December 20, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
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