Inside the Beltway: Publicity prowess

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Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

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Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of a continuing resolution? One lawmaker is coming to the defense of the beleaguered U.S. Postal Service following news that a House GOP spending bill directs the service to continue delivering mail six days a week, countering Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe’s plea to discontinue Saturday service, thus saving his agency $2 billion a year.

“This is the worst of Washington. Here Congress is unable to pass reforms that would enable the Postal Service to operate and not be a burden to taxpayers, and yet Congress also continues to interfere and not allow the Postal Service to make the decisions it believes are necessary to operate viably in the future,” says Sen. Bob Corker, Tennessee Republican.

“If this action is carried through, Congress will be hamstringing the Postal Service, hastening its demise and probably adding additional financial burdens to U.S. taxpayers.”

INSIDE BASEBALL

“Can’t anybody here play this game?” legendary baseball manager Casey Stengel once lamented during spring training for his abysmal New York Mets teams of the early 1960s. A new Economist/YouGov poll conducted March 2 to 4 says that many Americans apparently have a similar question they’d like to ask regarding government in the nation’s capital.

Only 24 percent say things in this country are on the right track, while 61 percent say things are heading in the wrong direction, with Congress getting the brunt of the blame: 74 percent of registered voters disapprove of the job lawmakers are doing, up 8 percentage points in the last week, the pollsters report.

Eighty percent of the respondents, incidentally, “approve of the Obama administration using drones to kill high-level terrorism suspects overseas, even if those suspects are American citizens.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 61 percent of Americans support a 5 percent cut in overall federal spending this year.

• 76 percent of Republicans, 72 percent of conservatives, 57 percent of Democrats and 50 percent of liberals agree.

• 60 percent of independents, 59 percent of moderates, 70 percent of men and 54 percent of women also agree.

• 34 percent of Americans overall agree with an 8 percent cut in overall military spending.

• 23 percent of Republicans, 26 percent of conservatives, 47 percent of Democrats and 49 percent of liberals agree.

• 33 percent of independents, 36 percent of moderates, 39 percent of men and 30 percent of women also agree.

Source: An ABC News/Washington Post survey of 1,017 U.S. adults conducted Sunday.

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