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Trust In US Representatives Down To 17 Per Cent

Angus Reid Consultants | June 21, 2005

(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Many adults in the United States are dissatisfied with the performance of their elected legislators, according a poll by Opinion Dynamics released by Fox News. Only 17 per cent of respondents believe the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate are statesmen doing a service for their country.

The negative sentiment stretches across party lines. 57 per cent of self-described Republicans, 65 per cent of independents and 68 per cent of Democrats believe lawmakers are petty politicians fighting for personal gain.

In the November 2004 congressional ballot, the Republican Party elected 232 lawmakers to the U.S. House of Representatives, while the Democratic Party secured 202 seats. 51 per cent of respondents feel Congress is not working on issues that are important to most Americans.

The Republicans also have a majority in the Senate, with 55 members in the 100-seat upper house. 61 per cent of respondents say they cannot think of any legislation passed this year that will improve the quality of life of most Americans.

In the U.S., federal justices are appointed by the president and confirmed by a majority vote in the Senate. Earlier this year, Republican Senate majority leader Bill Frist argued that existing rules must be amended to allow for a quicker confirmation of the president’s choices. Democratic politicians threatened to slow down all legislative functions if their ability to use the filibuster—extending debate to prevent an actual vote on a particular nominee—is hindered.

On May 23, a deal between Republicans and Democrats was announced by Republican Arizona senator John McCain. The agreement will see the filibuster used only "under extraordinary circumstances" to deal with judicial nominees



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