Here’s a fun game: What will the approval level of Congress look like this year?
Americans don’t like Congress. That’s nothing new. But in recent years, polling for the legislative body has been at historic lows. What will this week’s ratings look like? Single digits? Teens? Twenties?!
So, Gallup released its first reading of Congress’ job approval of 2014 on Tuesday. As of Jan. 8, when this poll concluded, 13 percent of Americans approve of the jobs those senators and representatives are doing. This is unchanged from December and up from the all-time low of 9 percent. Nine percent! That’s only 7 percent more than the number of Americans who looked at a picture of NBC’s Brian Williams and thought it was Joe Biden.
Congress is currently debating giving unemployment insurance for people out of work for over 26 weeks. It’s unclear whether this widely popular policy will pass, however. The extension’s failure could lower members’ rating. But it’s at least as likely to remain the same, considering the apathy Americans feel toward their elected officials.
Or Congress could have a come-to-_____ moment, pass comprehensive immigration reform, increase the minimum wage, pass a farm bill, put new limits on surveillance, add a bipartisan jobs plan, and get to long-needed tax reform — all in an election year. The people would rejoice at this new sense of compromise and seeming maturity from the adults in Washington. We could see numbers like from 2009 where Congress’ approval rating was at 39 percent.
But likely, it won’t. In fact, many of these actions could anger more people, and the approval rating could go down.
Let’s get realistic for a moment, however. The House will only be in session for around 90 days until November’s midterm elections. Yes, Congress will probably do less this year than it did in 2013. And last year, they didn’t do much.
So, where will the approval rating for Congress go this year? Let’s wait and see.
- 1 Obamacare’s Exchanges Are Faltering—But What’s the Cure?
- 2 Preparing for the Worst, NRCC Presses GOP Members for Cash
- 3 The GOP Nod Will Go to Trump or Cruz, Unless the Establishment Sorts Itself Out
- 4 Senator Manchin: What My Daughter Did Should Be Illegal
- 5 Why Trump’s Immigration Switch Won’t Move the Needle
What We're Following See More »
A new poll by the Public Religion Research Institute "found 72 percent of Americans now favor passing laws to protect lesbian, gay and transgender people from discrimination, including three-quarters of Democrats and two-thirds of Republicans." A majority also opposes "bathroom bills," of the kind passed by North Carolina.
Perhaps Donald Trump can take a plebiscite to solve this whole messy immigration thing. At a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity last night, Trump essentially admitted he's "stumped," turning to the audience and asking: “Can we go through a process or do you think they have to get out? Tell me, I mean, I don’t know, you tell me.”
Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.
Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.