A majority of Americans want the United States debt ceiling to be raised “only if lawmakers include terms on reducing the federal budget deficit,” according to an Associated Press-NORC poll.
The poll asked participants what most closely aligns with what they believe Congress should do to address the borrowing limit as the United States nears defaulting on its exorbitant $31.3 trillion national debt.
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Of the respondents, just 19 percent believe the limit should be raised “without conditions” — which was the posture President Joe Biden’s administration held for months before it began negotiations with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). Moreover, only 34 percent of Democrats and 6 percent of Republicans support an increase “without conditions.”
Conversely, a majority of 63 percent of Americans, including most Democrats and Republicans, want Congress and President Biden to raise the borrowing limit “only if lawmakers include terms on reducing the federal budget deficit.” Of Democrats, 58 percent only want the ceiling to be raised if deficit reductions are included. They are joined by 71 percent of Republicans.
House Republicans have been calling for spending cuts outside of Social Security and Medicare for months, and weeks ago passed the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023 that would raise the debt limit and reduce spending. It is the only legislation on Capitol Hill that has passed either the House or Senate to prevent a calamitous default. The Congressional Budget Office estimates it would save $4.8 trillion over the next decade.
Related — Watch: McCarthy Vows the Limit, Save, Grow Act “Will Pass”
Just 16 percent of Americans, including 7 percent of Democrats and 23 percent of Republicans, do “not want to increase the national debt limit under any circumstances.”
Most poll participants (66 percent) are either “Extremely” or “Very concerned” about the economy if there is a default. Another 27 percent are “Somewhat concerned,” and only 6 percent are not worried.
Pluralities of Americans disapprove of how Biden and how members on both sides of the aisle of Congress have “handled” debt ceiling negotiations. Of the respondents, 48 percent are unhappy with Biden’s handling of the issue, while 49 percent are dissatisfied with Congressional Republicans and Congressional Democrats’ handling of it.
The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research sampled 1,680 adults nationally between May 11-14. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.
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