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Poll: Congress' approval rating at historic low

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Americans’ opinion of Congress has hit a record low, with only 13 percent of voters saying they approve of the way Capitol Hill lawmakers are doing their jobs, the Gallup polling service reported Tuesday.

The dismal approval rating ties an all-time low measured by Gallup in December 2010. Disapproval of Congress is at 84 percent, a percentage point higher than last December’s previous high rating.

The results are based on surveys done Thursday through Sunday — Gallup’s first update since Congress and the White House reached agreement on a contentious deal to raise the federal debt ceiling.

President Obama’s job-approval rating also has declined in recent days, reaching a low of 39 percent, according to Gallup polling done Thursday through Saturday.

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

Independents were the most critical of Congress, with 9 percent approving and 86 percent disapproving, Gallup said. Republicans and Democrats give Congress slightly higher, but still overwhelmingly negative, marks. Fifteen percent of Democrats approve of Congress’ performance while 83 percent disapprove. GOP approval-disapproval ratings are 17 percent and 81 percent, respectively.

Gallup has measured Americans’ approval rating of Congress since 1974, with an average approval rating of 34 percent.

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