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. ThoughtProcess

    Keep in mind that there are more democrats up for re-election next year than republicans. And where republicans ARE up for election, it's largely in safe red states. The GOP side can bank on overall frustration hurting democrats more than their own party, they have little to lose really.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. 1of99percent

    Shame on the GOP and TEA parties. They have sold-out the working (and voting) Americans again in return for their
    "thirty pieces of silver" (campaign contributions). They belong in the same category as "Big Oil", Big Banks", "Wall Street CEO's" and "Child Molesters".

    December 20, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ann

    I wrote Rep. Boehner this weekend asking him why the games and how my son, who is laid off since his workplace went out of business, is to pay his bills and survive without the unemployment extensions.... HE has applied for literally hundreds of jobs. All Congressman Boehner (my Rep. in Congress) replied was a very long wordy position letter on what the GOP wants and plans to do.... Just the same BS...... wonder if he would even think about those he is hurting come Christmas????

    December 20, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joe

    Congressman: "I don't care, even if it's the right thing to do ... if you don't give me what I want along with it, I am voting against it no matter what ... heck with the people who voted me here ... I have the POWER!"

    December 20, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dennis

    I will start imposing my own "term limits" on all politicians every time I step up to a voting booth!!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Char Plymyer


      December 20, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Blingrich for Adulterer- in-Chief

    Congress and especially the Tea Party members need a pink slip for Christmas. There is no excuse for this kind of nonsense.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. William

    Im tired of the republicans and democrats going at it for their own benefits. We (the people) of the United States of America the best and the greatest country are suffering from jobs but yet they (congress) cant get their act together and pass budgets, acts, and bills that help the people of this great nation. Yet they are going to their little rich families and leave the people of this nation suffer because they think they are at the top of the mountain. Well congress get ready because im not voting for one single person this upcoming election. We need change. ASAP

    December 20, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ColdinMN

    Wasn't it Benjamin Franklin who said anyone who can't compromise should be castrated?

    December 20, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mrs. Joi


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

      WAKE UP. Politics is only a game the rich fat cats in DC are playing on you and me. They get richer while we schlep off and struggle everyday. Then we send our kids to Afghanistan to die...do you think Boehner's or Pelosi's kids are over there?

      December 20, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. doug ronnenkamp

    To say I am angry is an understatement.....it is time the Repubs told the TEA BAGGERS to take a HIKE!!!!!! 2 month extension was not best deal – but Boehner had agreed to it – how can you negotiate with someone who then has no balls to back up his agreement? Eric Cantor is disgusting..........
    The Repubs just assured themselves of someone who will never again vote for their party – or should I say the TEA BAGGER party.........

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

    If they would only show up for work one day asking "What would be best for the American People" it would be a miracle.

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

    The words to describe this group of self-serving, self-centered, do nothing bunch of ego maniacs who proclaim to know what is best for me have not yet been invented. One thing I want them to remember as they slash and burn programs that serve those who cannot protect themselves - YOU Congressman, YOU Senator - You are ALL on the public dole. You serve at the pleasure of we, the people. Do you honestly believe we will sit idly by and continue to accept your high handed ego driven actions that serve only YOU? You dare to believe we will remain that complacent at your own risk.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. karlj324

    cowardly,idiotic partisan bickering will bring this country to it's knees and we only have our selves to blame.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rsprings

    H. L. Mencken said....[Governments's] great contribution to human wisdom...is th discovery that the taxpayer has more than one pocket. Please Governmant keep you hands out of mine.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jacqueline

    I feel that Congress/Senate, should pass ONE thing at a time......I am sick of their adding things which cause controversy. I am sick of how much money they make and all their benefits as well. A bunch a do nothing rich people, it is time to oust all of them....in my area that will mean voting out Claire Mc Caskill (D) and Sam Graves (R)....they both need to go and so on until we get someone that actually works for the people.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
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