Congress’ Approval Rating Up Slightly, For Apparently No Reason
Americans’ dislike of Capitol Hill lawmakers just a little bit less, poll shows
Here’s a bit of encouraging news – mixed with a sobering reminder -- for Washington politicians running for re-election this fall:
A Gallup poll, out today, shows Americans’ approval of Congress’ job at its highest since last July.
What’s the not so good news? Congress’ job approval rating is only at 17 percent. That’s just a five-point jump over last month. And when you consider how dismally low Congress’ approval was in February, at 10 percent, it’s clear just how far up the world’s premier governing body needs to climb.
There are 23 Senate seats up for re-election this fall. Ten Democrat and Republican senators are retiring. In the House, elections will be held for all 435 seats. And because it's an election year, "it is unlikely that any action Congress itself takes will lead to further improvement in its approval ratings through the early fall," according a Gallup analysis.
Of course there’s plenty of opportunity for lawmakers to fall further into the pit of voters’ ire. This week, Senate Republicans blocked a floor vote on the Buffett rule, which would have required Americans making more than $1 million in annual income to pay a flat tax of 30 percent – a share more proportionate to middle class taxpayers.
[ALSO READ: Buffett Rule Blocked By GOP]
Inaction on several measures in Congress could result in yet another threat of government shutdowns. The Bush tax cuts expire at year’s end. Not to mention immigration reform, energy policy and any other backburner issues.
Whichever way it swings this fall, the 114th Congress’ approval can really only go up from here.