Congratulations, Washington: Americans Are Now More Concerned About Your Dysfunction Than the Economy

House Republicans celebrate passing a spending bill that defunds the Obamacare and keeps the government running.
National Journal
Matt Vasilogambros
Add to Briefcase
Matt Vasilogambros
Oct. 9, 2013, 7:11 a.m.

Con­gress has had an ap­prov­al rat­ing hov­er­ing in the teens for sev­er­al years now. That’s not new. But as Wash­ing­ton stumbles in­to the second week of the shut­down, con­cern for a dys­func­tion­al gov­ern­ment has reached re­cord levels.

Since 2008, the eco­nomy and jobs have been the top pri­or­it­ies for the Amer­ic­an people — a stat­ist­ic com­monly cited by law­makers when they’re try­ing to push for le­gis­la­tion. But now, ac­cord­ing to a new Gal­lup Poll, gov­ern­ment dys­func­tion is the most im­port­ant prob­lem fa­cing the United States. At 33 per­cent, this is the highest per­cent­age since the poll was star­ted in 1939.

Oth­er pri­or­it­ies for Amer­ic­ans sit well be­low this mark, in­clud­ing the eco­nomy (19 per­cent), un­em­ploy­ment (12 per­cent), the de­fi­cit (12 per­cent), and health care (12 per­cent).

And this level of con­cern for the dys­func­tion in Wash­ing­ton is sub­stan­tially high­er than it was dur­ing the last gov­ern­ment shut­down in 1996. When Gal­lup polled Amer­ic­ans then, just 17 per­cent lis­ted Wash­ing­ton’s prob­lems as the top is­sue for them. The budget and de­fi­cit were still the top is­sue, at 28 per­cent.

But will this con­cern last?

Last month, Syr­ia cap­tured peak in­terest at 8 per­cent, but now has fallen back down to 1 per­cent as the threat of U.S. mil­it­ary ac­tion has faded. But this con­cern for the gov­ern­ment could last for sev­er­al months. In Septem­ber, 16 per­cent of Amer­ic­ans thought the dys­func­tion was the top is­sue. Now that num­ber doubled. Ad­di­tion­ally, ap­prov­al for Con­gress is just 1 per­cent­age point high­er than re­cord lows.

Amer­ic­ans have lost con­fid­ence in their polit­ic­al lead­ers. With the debt-ceil­ing dead­line just days away, and a pos­sible de­fault im­min­ent, the con­cern for Wash­ing­ton’s dys­func­tion could rise — along with deep­er con­cerns for the eco­nom­ic con­sequences of law­makers’ in­ac­tion.

What We're Following See More »
TO BE VOTED ON NEXT MONTH
Pai Officially Announces Intent to Scrap Net Neutrality Rules
2 hours ago
THE LATEST
SAYS HE’S UNAWARE OF ACCUSATIONS
Conyers Denies Settling Harassment Claims
3 hours ago
THE LATEST
SPEAKER SAYS IN LETTER
Mugabe Resigns, Ending Impeachment Debate
3 hours ago
THE LATEST
HAITIANS TO BE MOST AFFECTED
White House to End TPS Program
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The Trump administration is ending a humanitarian program that has allowed some 59,000 Haitians to live and work in the United States since an earthquake ravaged their country in 2010, Homeland Security officials said on Monday. Haitians with what is known as Temporary Protected Status will be expected to leave the United States by July 2019 or face deportation. ... About 320,000 people now benefit from the Temporary Protected Status program, which was signed into law by President George Bush in 1990."

Source:
MAKES PERMANENT A PREVIOUS INJUNCTION
Federal Judge Blocks Sanctuary Cities Order
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

"A federal judge on Monday permanently blocked President Donald Trump's executive order to cut funding from cities that limit cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities. U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick rejected the administration's argument that the executive order applies only to a relatively small pot of money and said Trump cannot set new conditions on spending approved by Congress. The judge had previously made the same arguments in a ruling that put a temporary hold on the executive order."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login