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. greg

    Boehner, McConnell , Cantor and all of the GOP need to be thrown out. They are not helping Americans.

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

      I agree 1000%. Most Americans do not understand the truth because Republicans lie so much you don't know the truth unless you pay close attention. DEMOCRATS WANTED A 1 YEAR EXTENSION FROM THE START BUT REPUBLICANS REFUSED AND ALL DEMOCRATS COULD GET FROM THEM WAS 2 MONTHS – SO DEMOCRATS TOOK IT FOR THE BENEFIT OF YOU THE AVERAGE PERSON. ONCE THE SENATE PASSED IT 89-10, BOEHNER WHO HAD ALREADY AGREED TO THIS SENATE DEAL – CAME OUT AND SAID HE WOULD NOT VOTE FOR IT BECAUSE IT WAS NOT A YEAR LONG DEAL. REMEMBER DEMOCRATS WENT FOR A YEAR IN THE FIRST PLACE, GOP SAID NO, AND DEMOCRATS TOOK 2 MONTHS AND NOW BOEHNER IN THE HOUSE IS LYING SAYING HE WANTS A YEAR DEAL. THIS IS THE GAME REPUBLICANS PLAY TO MAKE SURE NOTHING GETS DONE FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
      DO NOT BLAME DEMOCRATS FOR REPUBLICAN LES, GAMES, AND OBSTRUCTION, JUST VOTE OUT ALL REPUBLICANS ON THE LOCAL, STATE, AND NATIONAL LEVEL AND WE CAN BRING COMMON SENSE, LEADERSHIP, AND TRUE WORK FOR WE THE PEOPLE ACCOMPLISHED IMMEDIATELY.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tucelip

    This government and both parties have failed the American people. How have they contributed to cutting costs? How have these idiots contributed to any cost cutting like everyone else must endure?? Have they been furloughed, laid off, had pay freezes or cuts , or even better, had their fancy "perks" like travel in first class or private jets removed? Forget the 99%...These politicians ARE the 1%. Vote for anyone not in office.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bill

    The politicans on Capital Hill are a national disgrace to the American people and forefathers who founded this great republic. They should be held accountable for their actions and everything they do. In my opinion both democrats and republicans should be lined up like cattles and shot!

    December 20, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lillian

    For the first time in my life, I wish I were a citizen of a country that takes care of it's people. This is why it's so important to be self-reliant and to teach our children NOW! America is really, really sad, and what is happening with this UI and Payroll tax cut vote is CHILDISH. I'm not unemployed but I know people who are; pass the bill and help your fellow citizens! ARE YOU MICE OR AMERICANS!

    December 20, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. joyce

    They, Congress are ridiculous. They cannot agree on anything and it is horrible that we voted these clowns in office. They are pathetic.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rob

    They all need to experience what the General Public go through and the decisions they make and how they affect us all. They're STUPID People. They don't belong in the office.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ConcernedDad

    The tone of many of these comments is really appalling. The Representatives in power reflect the voting preferences of their respective districts. As a whole they are completely dysfunctional, but we put them in power. I do not want a tax increase but this was a bad bill. A two-month extension does no more than prolong this fight for two months. Let's resolve this issue so we can move on to other issues.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. CAL USA

    It's too easy to blame "Congress", but one political party is actually responsible for the deadlock and for the paralysis of our government. The Tea Partiers reject all compromises and promise to punish any Republicans who don't toe the line. Then they blame the Democrats for not compromising and the news media accommodates them by reporting it that way.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. fistface

    Solution can be as simple as voting the Millionaire's out of Government.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sean

    Now really, whose fault is this? who put them in charge??? and will you do that again next year?

    December 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. R

    The Republicans AND Democrats, BOTH parties are only in politics to enrich THEMSELVES, they have NO plans to help anyone or doing anything good for the United States, they only pander to the HIGHEST BIDDER, BOUGHT AND PAID FOR POSs, THROW THE BUMS OUT!!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sylvia

    Unbelievable that both parties are so irresponsible. If American families ran their lives like Congress runs the country, there would be chaos. It is incredible with all the perks, health benefits, etc. these people cannot put aside their personal agendas and do what is right for the country! They have become a group of arrogant people; some maybe racist in how they vote! Aren't a lot of these people the same ones who were in Congress during Bush's era and created all the economic with their de-regulation policies. It makes you wonder how they get re-elected!

    These very same people who are ruining the concept of democracy. They need to go back to school and learn what America is all about. Shame on them!

    December 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dan

    They should ALL be ashamed of themselves. What an embarrassment.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Guest

    There was a time in post World War I Germany were politicians simply elected not to represent the country best interest, so the Country went into a huge inflationary spiral, and giving birth to one of the worst dictators in history. There was a time in pre World War I Russia were the countries leader simply elected to put their own interests higher than the nations interest, thus giving birth to a dictator that claimed to act on the behalf of the people. We suffered until 1989 from those mistakes that people make. Now we have politicians that seem to have elected to represent their own interests, what could be the next step. Is history going to repeat itself or are we smarter. How about this thing, that it is called "TEAMWORK" and this should also work within politics, especially if the economy in stagnant or in a downward spiral.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Alvin

    Two month extension, really? How insulting. That doesn't even matter. However, any idiot can see that approving the Keystone pipeline would only take about 10 minutes going over details and a big stamp of approval. A president who doesn't approve this right now is not for America at all! Wake up people! Where are the jobs he promised? Where is the change? China will get this oil, who gets the thirty pieces of silver for that??

    December 20, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • BinFL

      Alvin, were you so supportive of the President's job bill that didn't get passed that provided jobs on much needed infrastructure repair and building? Probably not, right? Do you honestly think this pipeline project the Repubs are pushing is because they are concerned about creating jobs or can you see the light that it is another gift for their OIL buddies? Please open your eyes to what is really going on here. As far as the 2 month extension, that was the only compromise that the Senate agreed on to buy time to renegotiate the issue after the new year.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
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