Congress’ job approval has dropped to 13% in a new national poll following the three-week House of Representatives speakership fight — its lowest rating since 2017.
Lawmakers saw their performance rating fall four points from the 17% recorded at the start of October, according to the Gallup survey, as Republicans removed Speaker Kevin McCarthy Oct. 3 and then ran through four different nominees before voting in his replacement 22 days later.
The fracas erupted after McCarthy (R-Calif.) passed a so-called “clean” continuing resolution on a bipartisan basis to fund the government at current levels until Nov. 17.
The Gallup poll also shows Congress last had a 17% approval rating in November 2017, when GOP leadership and rank-and-file members previously clashed over federal spending proposals.
Eight House Republicans led by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) joined with 208 Democrats to expel McCarthy from office, setting in motion a prolonged fight between GOP factions for control of their caucus.
Gaetz said he removed McCarthy because the speaker had used House Democrats to pass a single government spending package rather than splitting the funding up into 12 separate appropriations bills.
He also accused the former speaker of negotiating “a secret side deal” with President Biden and Democrats to secure further US funding for Ukraine amid its war with Russia.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) all received nominating votes but failed to win the gavel.
Jordan was the only candidate to receive a floor vote of the trio but was denied the speakership by at least 20 holdouts on three successive ballots, many of whom expressed lingering frustration at McCarthy’s ouster.
Others declined to support the founding member of the House Freedom Caucus after they said Scalise had been unfairly passed over for the speaker’s role.
Emmer’s path to the gavel was blocked by former President Donald Trump — who denounced the majority whip as a “RINO,” or Republican In Name Only — and House GOP hardliners who disliked the Minnesota moderate’s voting record on social and national security issues.
On Wednesday, 220 House Republicans voted to elect Conference Vice Chairman Mike Johnson as their next speaker, elevating the little-known Louisianan to lead upcoming spending battles with the White House and Senate Democrats.
That work will include passing seven remaining appropriations bills and negotiating final versions with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and President Biden before government funding runs out next month.
Biden, 80, is currently registering his lowest job approval numbers with Gallup, as just 37% say they like his performance in office.
Congress’ lowest-ever approval rating in the survey (9%) was recorded in November 2013, the month after House Republicans forced a 16-day shutdown as part of an effort to defund Obamacare.
Among Republican respondents, just 8% approve of the job Congress is doing, down 8 percentage points from August.
Only 10% of Democratic respondents have a favorable view of Congress — a 12 percentage point decline from September.
The survey was conducted Oct. 2-23 via telephone interviews with US adults in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus four percentage points.
Gallup has recorded opinions of Congress’ job approval since 1974, with updates to the rating every month since 2001.
The polling group also found in its October survey that a plurality of Americans from both major parties list the federal government as the most important issue facing the country, with 22% of Republicans and 20% of Democrats holding that opinion.
Read the full article here