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. TheyrePlaying PoliticsWithYourMoney

    Let me tell you folks something. If the Republicans didn't play politics by standing in the way of getting the Democratic plan passed, YOU would have avoided paying the extra $1,000.00 next year that you will now HAVE to pay! But it is a well-known fact that the Republicans don't want to give the President credit for this so they are blocking his effort to get the Democratic plan passed which would have avoided every American from having to pay the extra One-Thousand Dollars Each and Everyone of you will now HAVE to pay next year. Well, that's the breaks. Some people would just as soon shell out a thousand Hard-Earned bucks out of their pocket to pay Uncle Sam next year just so they won't have to ruffle the Republican's feathers. And to think those being hit the Hardest with this will be the 99% of Americans! There's nothing wrong with passing a Two-Month extension now to give them time to work on the longer plan. Nothing wrong with that at all! Except that it would give Obama and the Democrats Credit for it, therefore, Republicans are strongly against it and would rather TAX you the extra $1,000. just to get THEIR way! The bottom line is that you all DO have that kind of money after all to be supporting the Republican's plan don't you? So, folks, start getting your Checkbook out to pay the government 'cause this is No Joke, it's now REALITY thanks to the Republicans!

    December 20, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray4852

      Blame anybody you want, but both political parties are the same to me. its time we form a new political party now.

      December 20, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Stu

    Oh man, following the American political system is hilarious. For 8 years the republicans basically drove your country into the ground. So you elect someone who could potentially make some improvements but he can't do a damn thing because the same people who drove your country into the ground can still block everything he tries to do. It's so ridiculous that for four years things are progressively getting worse and the republicans are bending over backwards to create gridlock and division. They have had four years to look for someone to run against Obama and all they could scrounge up was this sorry lot??? It would be comical if it wasn't for the fact that one of them could be running the "most powerful" nation in the world. And to top it off the republican party, which has always been intolerant and backwards has now been hijacked by an even more intolerant, backward, ignorant tea party movement.......if the republicans get the white house back I'm not sure if I'll laugh at the absurdity of it or become physically ill......

    December 20, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allen

      Are you unaware or just ignoring (like CNN and most media outlets) that the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress for the first half of President Obama's term and did not pass a budget. Perhaps they knew a budget would make it obvious that we could not afford Obamacare, etc. That is why our economy is still in the toilet. The took W's spending spree and shot it up with steroids before the "obstructionist" decided we needed to stop spending money we do not have. PLEASE read Coburn's report on waste. If anyone can give me a valid reason that we allocated money that we borrowed from China as foreign aid to China, I will put an Obama sign in my yard.

      December 20, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      @Allen, So what does your rant have to do with the pay-roll tax cut extension? Delusion is a disease!

      December 20, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Allen

    WHERE IS THE BUDGET SENATOR REID?. WHERE HAS IT BEEN FOR THREE YEARS? Why is President Obama not asking this question. IF majority leader was spending more tome preparing a budget and less at taxpayer funded Cowboy Poet Festivals, maybe we could get somewhere.

    December 20, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chad

      Brain washed by FOX NEWS. Nose breather.

      December 20, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Larry

    Its the fault of the Middle class who got brainwashed and carried away by the GOP lies that got the Tea party voted into congress. Its a simple case of you reap what you sow. You don't plant corn and expect to reap apples. oh well!

    December 20, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. boom boom

    They're all on their way out, or should be. They're going to do something by the deadline but have all lost our respect

    December 20, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. GloobBleen

    Oh please let me see how many cigarettes john bone-rr can put in his mouth at one time. Oh please john bone-rr go on another golf outing using your pac money. Oh please john bone-rr see how many times you can die your skin orange. Oh john bone-rr please go play with your bone-rr and splooge on your best friend eric can?tor.

    December 20, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joanne

    They are suppose to be representatives of the people. VOTE them out, everyone of them. That is where our power lies.

    December 20, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray4852

      If you vote them all out. who are you going to put in to do the job. we need new ideas like Ron Paul wants to do.

      December 20, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      Given the short memory span of your average American, i wouldn't count on voting the Tea party out in the next election! The GOP went from bad to worse with the introduction of the disgruntled Tea party (Party with the intent to undermine the black man's presidency to make sure it never happens again)....All i can say is, we are are slowly witnessing America unravel, a case of "1000 ways to die".

      December 20, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Cheri

    I don't know what Representative Boehner thought was so funny and I wish someone would wipe that smirk off his fac when he basically said he was going to do nothing to help the citizens of this great nation. I also think that the Senate going home for Christmas was very immature. They took their ball and went home. We have irresponsible people running our government and ruining our lives. President Obama needs to show leadership and stick to his promise and not allow either house to go home for Christmas. Maybe, if they had a deadline that was important to them they would get something done. They evidently do not care about the people of America, as they are willing to do nothing and blame each other for creating the mess. Republicans and Democrats both are to blame and come election day they will all have to answer for this whole year of indecisions. Maybe they need to make each member of Congress pay $1,000 a day for every day they do not make a decision. When they become unemployed after they lose their jobs for acting like this they may have more sympathy for those of us who do not have a job and waiting on their unemployment checks. Republicans were voted in to make a change for the better butl their change is worse than the change Obama rammed down our throats. We need another choice for President, I wish Bill Clinton or McCain would throw their hat in the ring. I don't care if it is a Republican or a Democrat we just need someone capable of leading.

    December 20, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allen

      I hope voters share your frustration Cheri. The problem we have is that the voters always believe it is all those other people's elected officials that need to be voted out, not the nice man they met at Rotary that day. Reagan and Clinton would have had the leadership locked in a room at the White House until an agreement was reached. I am a news junky, but we need a media blackout on anything not happening in the House or Senate chamber or meeting rooms and cameras on everything that happens there. Get these guys off of the interview shows and back to work.

      December 20, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      While i empathize with you, but it is clear you were one of the gullible that voted the tea party in. Well, you don't plant a corn and expect to harvest apples is it? Enjoy your employment checks while it lasts :).

      December 20, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lou

    The Republican Party is a terrorist organization.

    December 20, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray4852

      The republican party is the lesser of two evils. god help us if we get 4 more years of obama. what has this man done that's any good for our country. you don't throw money at a broken system and expect it to recover.

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

    If I was in a Fox hole I sure wouldn't want Republicans to watch my back

    December 20, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allen

      I would absolutely want a Republican or Libertarian in the foxhole with me. The Democrat would have taken all of my guns, most of my money and would insist we walk over and ask whomever was shooting at us to please not be so mean. We would probably have to stop and try to verbally disarm all the landmines along the way – or at least place a stack of money on each one in hope of placating it.

      December 20, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chad

      Allen is a moron. Needs to quit watching fox news!!! Really scared Dems. are going to take your guns?

      December 20, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jake

    IF YOUR MIDDLE CLASS STOP VOTING REPUBLICAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chad

      You are correct. If Republicans prevail, there will be no social security or medicare. Most Republicans are to stupid to understand that when they say they whant to cut "Social Services" that means social security and medicare. Think how much money they could make off the aging baby boomers if they privatized medicare.

      December 20, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Allen

    So Larry and GloobBleen, is your answer to keep borrowing and taxing and spending? I understand now. It has worked so well for the last 45 years. The War on Poverty – Mission Accomplished right? Before you say that the tax rates are sooo much lower than X number of years ago, get your information from a deeper source than Sen. Reid and network news. Rates were lowered and business deductions that more than offset the rate changes were eliminated. How much is enough? Is there a place in your world for Individual Responsibility? I am not a huge fan of Republicans but at least they are trying to develop policy for more than two weeks at a stretch, and want a budget to allow businesses to do tax planning for the next year. The Democrats refuse to pass a budget for three years and pretend it will all be okay if we keep giving out money. I personally know (unfortunately I am related to them) two families that have had a third Medicaid baby in the last year while at least one parent was collecting unemployment. Why? Because they were protected from serious consequences and can continue to suck the public teat. How does this stop in your world? Will there be unicorns involved?

    December 20, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • glendora

      I voted for Obama, but it was a VERY shortsighted to give a break from SS funding. This will just punish us all later. And now the Republicans have become completely unhinged thanks to the Tea Party who are incapable of being actual representatives of the American people. Same as the last "great" Republican takeover of the House. A special thanks to Newt who was one of the architects of uncompromising "leadership" like it is something to be admired. I hope the American people can see that there is nothing to gain by electing extreme elements of either party. They only speak for their sliver of vocal society that rammed them down our throats. WE EARN THE GOVERNMENT WE ARE WILLING TO TOLERATE. PLEASE moderates, make yourself heard. You are the 80% between the 10% extremes.

      December 20, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      In the same token, why is it OK for the republicans to fight tooth and nail against a tax hike for the wealthy but when it comes to helping the middle class in these tough times, then all of a sudden, it will hurt SS?? The GOP either represents the interest of the top 1% or they hate Obama so much that they are willing to once again toss the middle class under the bus to satisfy their political vendetta. Either way, i hope the average American voter will learn to love him/her self more my voting for their own interest and not against their interest in this coming election. It is just too clear now what this is all about!

      December 20, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chad

      Funny how the Republicans point the finger at Dems. for the budget deficit. Remember George Bush and Republican majority just a couple years ago didn't have a problem spending our money. You are an idiot.

      December 20, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Allen

    The plan passed by the senate was not a functional plan. When an association representing more than1/3 of the payroll agencies in the country writes senators and congressmen to explain that the plan will not allow them to accurately withhold taxes and that concern is ignored by the senate, something is wrong. The taking heads can repeat the anti- middle class diatribe all day and night but THE PLAN WOULD NOT WORK. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid would not know middle class if it bit them on the backside, neither would most republicans in congress. That said, Jake – can you tell me why for the first time in the history of our country no budget has come out of congress for three years. Please remember that the Dems had both chambers for two of those three years and NO BUDGET was passed. Give me someone, D or R, who has met a payroll and has a clue about how businesses grow.

    December 20, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. RT Jones

    All Republicans in the House need to be voted out. Completely incompetent and useless. A measure that passes one body with that kind of margin has no place being flatly rejected by the other body. Particularly if their only complaint was "not long enough – need a year." We all agree with that....but get over it. Pass the bill, take your break, and then get your butts back in there and finish it up in January. Don't make the country suffer because you are unwilling to compromise. The fact that you aren't falling over yourselves to extend a tax break defies all logic. You just don't want to hand ANY victory to the President or Democrats. Outrageous. FYI – the Republicans in the Senate passed this bill with flying colors, morons. Your fighting against yourselves.

    December 20, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. phuc dang

    Republican Representatives can't even agree with the Republican Senators ! Who voted these arrogant, irresponsible Tea clowns in office ?

    December 20, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray4852

      The tea party has common sense

      December 20, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sense orSenseless

      "The tea party has common sense" says dumb-o with his limited intelligence and Big Money who can indeed afford to pay the extra One Thousand Dollars next year that he will Have to pay due to the Republicans not passing the Democratic Senate's plan in the House.

      December 21, 2011 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • rpfu

      Tea Party has common sense ???!!! They are willing to burn the house down just push their agenda...extremism is never acceptable . WHAT'S REALLY PATHETIC IS THAT BOEHNER IS GETTING ALL THE HEAT AND WILL BE GETTING ALL THE ARROWS NEXT ELECTION BUT IN REALITY...CANTOR AND THE OTHER TEA PARTIERS HOLD THE STRINGS TO THE BOEHNER PUPPET . I SAY PUT THE SPOTLIGHT ON CANTOR, NORQUIST AND WE WILL SEE THESE PEOPLE HAVE NO CLUE HOW THE 99% ARE STILL STRUGGLING WITH THIS MESS THAT BUSH AND PAULSON TRIGGERED. ...AND THEY WANT TO REPEAL THE MEASURES DESIGNED TO PREVENT THE WALL STREET FIASCO FROM REOCCURRING??GIVE ME A BREAK TEA PARTIERS.SHAME ON YOU !

      December 21, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • rpfu

      Tea Party has common sense ???!!! They are willing to burn the house down just push their agenda...extremism is never acceptable . WHAT'S REALLY PATHETIC IS THAT BOEHNER IS GETTING ALL THE HEAT AND WILL BE GETTING ALL THE ARROWS NEXT ELECTION BUT IN REALITY...CANTOR AND THE OTHER TEA PARTIERS HOLD THE STRINGS TO THE BOEHNER PUPPET . I SAY PUT THE SPOTLIGHT ON CANTOR, NORQUIST AND THE USUAL SUSPECTS AND WE WILL SEE THESE PEOPLE HAVE NO CLUE HOW THE 99% ARE STILL STRUGGLING WITH THIS MESS THAT BUSH AND PAULSON TRIGGERED. ...AND THEY WANT TO REPEAL THE MEASURES DESIGNED TO PREVENT THE WALL STREET FIASCO FROM REOCCURRING??GIVE ME A BREAK TEA PARTIERS.SHAME ON YOU ! ! !

      December 21, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
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