Americans say US Congress corrupt, favours special interests

Washington, Sep 29 (IANS) The majority of Americans say US lawmakers favour special interests and are corrupt, a new Gallup survey has said.

Seven in 10 Americans believe that most members of the US Congress are focused on “the needs of special interests” instead of “the needs of their constituents”, and 52 percent say lawmakers are corrupt, Xinhua cited the survey conducted between September 9-13.

The results were consistent with the long-term mistrust of Congress among Americans, said Gallup, citing a previous survey conducted earlier this year which found that fewer than one in 10 Americans have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in Congress.

The current low approval rating of 14 percent for Congress is typical over the past several years, Gallup added.

Historically, Americans have been less critical of their own representatives. However, the new survey found that Americans are becoming more skeptical of their own representatives.

According to the survey, 47 percent of Americans believe their own representatives are focused on needs of special interests, the highest figure on record and up seven points from 2006.

The survey came at a time when House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner made a sudden resignation on Friday after the partisan fight over a government spending bill, that threatens to thrust the House into leadership turmoil.

The federal government will be shut down on October 1 if Congress fails to pass a spending bill for the fiscal year 2016 before then.

While Republican lawmakers have pledged to oppose any spending bill that does not defund Planned Parenthood, an organisation which provides reproductive health and maternal and child health services, their Democratic counterparts would block any bill that targets the organisation.

Though, Congress members have cast this government spending battle as a principled one, the survey concluded that it remains doubtful Americans will see the showdown as a dispute over how to serve the country’s interests.

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