The Washington Times - February 24, 2011, 11:54AM

Voters are closely divided on whether Republicans in Congress or Democrats and the White House are doing the better job in the current battle over a new federal budget plan, according to a new poll.

Results of a USA Today/Gallup survey released Thursday found that 42 percent of respondents say they approve of the way Republicans are handling the budget battle, while 39 percent side with Democrats and President Obama.


The poll also shows a plurality of Americans — 37 percent — say the Republicans’ proposed spending cuts don’t go far enough, while 25 percent say they are about right. As for Democrats, 48 percent of poll respondents say the Democratic plans don’t go far enough in cutting spending, while 29 percent say they are about right.

The national survey, conducted Tuesday, comes as the two sides jockey over spending cuts and how far to push the threat of a government shutdown if they can’t reach an agreement. The federal government’s current funding runs through March 4, and many agencies would be forced to furlough workers and shut down services if Congress can’t reach a new deal.

The GOP-dominated House on Saturday passed a spending plan for the rest of the fiscal year through Sept. 30 that includes $61 billion in cuts, but the Senate has yet to take up the measure and Democrats vow to restore some of the cut funding.