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Approval of U.S. Congress ties historic low: poll

(Xinhua)

08:33, August 17, 2011

WASHINGTON, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- Public approval of U.S. Congress's performance has tied its historic low of 13 percent, according to Gallup poll results released Tuesday.

The previous low point was set in December 2010, during the lame-duck session. Meanwhile, disapproval of Congress hit an all-time high of 84 percent, eclipsing the 83 percent disapproval rating last December.

The results are based on an Aug. 11-14 Gallup poll, the first update on Congress's job approval rating since the government reached agreement on a deal to raise the debt ceiling after contentious and protracted negotiations between President Barack Obama and congressional leaders.

Standard & Poor's subsequently downgraded the United States' credit rating, partially citing the current political environment in Washington. That sparked a week of intense volatility in the stock market, with days of sharp losses and large gains.

Americans have usually not held Congress in high regard, but currently they have a more negative view of the institution than any other time Gallup has measured, according to the polling agency.

Frustration with Congress was evident immediately after the debt ceiling agreement, with a record-low 21 percent of registered voters in an Aug. 4-7 USA Today/Gallup poll saying most members of Congress deserve re-election.

Obama's job approval rating has also declined in recent days, reaching a low of 39 percent.

When Gallup last measured Congress's job approval rating in early July, 18 percent approved and 77 percent disapproved. That poll came while the debt ceiling discussions were underway but well before the talks dragged on to just before the Treasury Department's Aug. 2 deadline.

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