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. Charmin

    Government has become this freight train out of control. Congress is behaving like a bunch of spoiled brats. I believe they should all resign and leave their health insurance and pensions behind.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • seppe

      They are the enemy of the layman of the world what they are doing with this game (IT'S CRIMINAL)and they be feed to the shark, and the chances are that the shark will refuse them because they are so useless...

      December 20, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JustWho

    "' do these jerks think they are???

    Definitely not working for the average hourly worker in this country. Evangelicals are to blame.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. 99percentnomad

    We have the right to vote how we like, regardless of whatever some biased newscaster insists or whomever he tells us will win an election or not. If you are voting party and not values, you are playing their game. I don't care about your party principles and loyalties that cater to lobbyist agendas. America is enslaved to a system that is run by puppet politicians and the corporations they cater to.They don't care about us, they care about votes and money. 53 cents of every tax dollar goes to fund our wars. That money could be spent saving our own people, one of which dies every 12 minutes because of having no health insurance. What mainstream news station is covering that story? None of them, because they are owned by the same interests that own our politicians. Think for yourself, and for our sakes and our kids' sakes. Get involved in whatever little way you can, because our rights are nearly gone. There will be no future unless we stand up to these thugs that are wrecking our lives.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tammi

    Much of the pipeline jobs will be for Canadians. Most of the materials from other countries. Gas prices in the midwest will rise and the gas will be shipped from Texas to the rest of the world. No win for America there.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. KIm , Dodge City, Kansas

    Congress has clearly become the enemy from within, and as a nation we are duty bound to rid ourselves of that enemy. If we do nothing, which is what they are counting on, then this country will die from apathy, and deservedly so.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Wally Wolf

    I really hope everyone remembers this come next election and votes out the GOP! If Obama had a congress that would work with him, how different our lives would be!

    December 20, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • john begghins

      He had congress, they all should be thrown out and we should start over!

      December 20, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. carla

    So what are we going to do folks?? Sit by and watch this happen time and time again? We complain a lot but they are still doing it. They all need to put in their resignations. We need to demand it. OWS was a great idea but it hasn't done anything. We need an agenda and demands and hold everyone responsible. We The People have a right to do this. We have been lied to over and over again and they are playing with our future and the future of our grandchildren. We can no longer be sheep and just accept everything at face value. They spit out a bunch of numbers and we believe them. Show us the money.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. randy coleman

    Folks we as an Americans must stand together. Both sides are at fault. We must vote these silly folks out whom are living in their glass bubbles. None of them give a rats azz about the true American, I am a war vet and I can honestly say when its time for election I will vote against whomever is running. We need new blood in the White hose, Get rid of most over 10 years of non service. This must be done or we will ride this slope all the way to Hell.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kevin

    The Democrats in the Senate should offer to bring the Senate back for negotiations ONLY if the House Republicans drop the pipeline provision. Otherwise, let the taxes go up on 1 Jan. and pound the Republicans in the next round of elections.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clarks1


      The Democrats in the Senate should offer to bring the Senate back for negotiations ONLY if the House Republicans drop the pipeline provision. Otherwise, let the taxes go up on 1 Jan. and pound the Republicans in the next round of elections

      December 20, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. youmustbekidding

    News flash Joe. Everyone, including the overwhelming majority of Republicans, agree we should extend the roll back of the payroll tax. The impact on Social Security isn't even a rounding error but the potential to help spark (or at least not further bruise) a fragile economy is important. Both parties agree on that much. If you want to debate how you pay for it, then fine. But don't bury the bill with a dump truck load of completely unrelated amendments to the bill and then cross your arms and say take it or leave it. Pipeline approval tied to the extension? Really? Why not put that bill up by itself and have an up or down vote on it. In the mean time, if we need a 60 day extension to buy some time for the more rational minds to work on a compromise, where's the harm in that? You really think employers will delay a hiring decision worrying about whether the rollback will last for 2 months or 12 months? I 'm afraid the Republicans are looking completely un-American these days. Screw anyone and anything that might look like cooperation with Obama. Who knew that the freshmen House members were the polical equivalent of suicide bombers. Hell bent on destroying innocents in order to cram there tortured version of political orthodoxy on everyone else. We should be fighting to find common ground, not trying to destroy each other for pure political gain. Boehner better wake up and figure out that he needs to find BI PARTISAN solutions to the problems we all face instead of being held hostage by the Tea Bagger Taliban. He looks like a fool today. Are those tears welling up in his eyes??

    December 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. greater than

    Vote them all out. Dismantle congress if you have to and call for a new elections.
    We should have term limits also
    Pay for job performance – either congress succeeds or fails to reach agreements, at which point they all lose their jobs and make room for others to do their jobs for them

    December 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. MS14796

    It's time to get rid of the two party system and open up the door to a multi-party system like the rest of the world governments have. The only way to get things resolved is to build a coalition of parties that will work to get the country back on track. Because no one party will have an overall majority grid lock will be minimized. The current system has done nothing but create gridlock in Congress. Rome burns while Nero fiddles.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mark

    CNN is a liberal joke.

    Funny how quick America forgot about our debt problem. CNN was sure to help that

    December 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      Debt problem – – – hmmmm? Oh yeah, start two wars in the middle-east, spend billions on those wars, fail to fund them, and then cut taxes for the wealthy which dramatically drives up the deficit – – – what is wrong with that Bushy and Dicky approach to our economy that even an Accounting 101 student can explain but apparently Republicans cannot? Hmmmm!

      December 20, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. RinMaine

    Boehner is a fool, weak, disloyal.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bobsky

    Has anyone done the math for the cost to a "new home buyer?" For a mythical $200K home: $15/mo times 12 months times 30 years = $5400. The two month "benefit" to that new homeowner... $167. Good work senate, the real estate market will love this!

    December 20, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
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