Members of Congress are returning this week and next, and it doesn’t appear that much of the general public missed them.
According to a new CNN/ORC poll, Congress has set a new record. The approval rating for Congress has hit a new low, dropping to 11 percent, down from the previous low of 14 percent set in August 2011 after the debt ceiling battles.
First on their 2012 agenda is settling the latest dispute over extending a payroll tax cut and long-term unemployment benefits. And if Congress doesn’t do something this year, in 2013 the Bush-era tax cuts will expire and $1.2 trillion in spending cuts will take place.
"New year, same president, same story—zero fiscal discipline, surging debt and failed leadership," New Jersey Rep. Scott Garrett said, according to the Wall Street Journal, after President Barack Obama requested another $1.2 trillion be added to the debt ceiling. Meanwhile, Obama has already stated that he will be running against a "do-nothing" Congress.
According to Reuters, when the poll results were looked at on an individual basis, Congressional Democrats have a 33 percent approval rating, and Republicans are approved by 21 percent.
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll reports that 84 percent of Americans disapprove of Congress’ job, and almost two-thirds of them “disapprove strongly.” Only 13 percent of Americans approve of the 112th Congress’ first year. The survey says it has been nearly four years since Congress has seen as much as a 30 percent approval rating.
Democrats will have to add 25 seats to regain control of the House of Representatives, which is a lot, but could happen if voters blame the GOP for the constant Washington battles. Democrats have a 53-47 edge in the Senate, but several Democratic senators are retiring in states that lean toward Republican.
The 84 percent disapproval rating for Congress came in as the highest in about 40 years of polls.