Politics

Americans Don't Think Congress Will Change, Gridlock Will Continue

| by Edward Arnold
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Now that a new session of Congress began this week, Americans can expect a change in attitude, right? Wrong.

60 percent of Americans think the new Congress wont get more done than the previous one, according to a new CNN poll. Furthermore, just 30 percent believe Congress will be responsive to the public.

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This isn't to say Congress has the same dynamic, because it doesn't. Republicans just overwhelmingly took a majority in the House and have a majority in the Senate for the first time since 2006.

The new Republican Congress can finally push to get things done. Republicans have the votes to pass legislation, especially in the House. Whether or not President Obama allows legislation to follow through will determine how successful they can be.

But this type of war with Obama could help their approval ratings. If Americans see Congress as proactive, passing legislation and pushing agendas, the president could look like the bad guy striking down legislation with the veto.

However, that situation would present the same results, more gridlock. In fact, a poll from last year shows that half of Americans predict there will be more gridlock with a Republican Congress and a Democratic White House.

Yet, low expectations for Congress is nothing new. Last year, Gallup polls showed approval ratings for Congress averaged 15 percent, just a one percent increase from 2013's all time record low.

Given that the 113th Congress was the worst legislative session ever, it is hard to see the newly appointed 114th Congress being worse. If things are going to change, it has to be on issues where compromise is possible, or else the same gridlocked government will continue.

Sources: CNN, Gallup / Photo Credit: NCPSSM