Politics

Poll: Americans already skeptical of new Congress — and its ability to slash spending

Chris Moody Contributor

The fresh class of Republicans in Congress face an uphill battle to win over the hearts and minds of Americans who are already expressing doubt that the new members will be much different from their predecessors.

Of those polled, 67 percent said it was “at least somewhat likely” that voters will be disappointed by the 112th Congress by 2012, including 37 percent who predict it is “very likely,” according to a new survey from Rasmussen Reports.

The new Congress kicks off Wednesday, with the swearing in of new members and the transfer of leadership in the House from Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California to the new speaker, Republican Rep. John Boehner of Ohio. Democrats will retain their majority in the Senate.

The national telephone survey also found that Republican popularity has dipped from the last time the poll was taken shortly before the November 2008 elections.

Despite repeated promises from new Republicans that they will rein in spending, almost half of those polled said they believed spending levels would rise over the next few years. Republicans vowed before the election to cut $100 billion from the federal budget, but have reportedly walked back the pledge, and will likely aim to cut about half as much.

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