Poll: Boehner gets low marks on fiscal talks

A plurality of voters approve of President Obama’s handling of the “fiscal cliff” negotiations, while a strong majority disapprove of the job Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has done, according to a new poll.


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Forty-seven percent said they approve of the way Obama has handled the talks to reach a deficit-reduction agreement, against 46 percent who said they disapprove, a Washington Post-ABC News poll released Wednesday finds. Only 24 percent said they approve of the job Boehner has done, compared to 54 percent who disapprove.

Obama has overwhelming support from his own party, with 79 percent of Democrats saying they approve, against 15 percent who disapprove. Boehner, conversely, is barely above water within his party, with 39 percent saying they approve and 37 percent saying they disapprove.

While Boehner has been backed by GOP leadership in the negotiations — House Budget Committee Chairman and GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) both signed his first proposal to the White House — Boehner continues to struggle with some Tea Party conservatives who are urging him not to budge on higher tax rates.

Boehner's initial deficit offer to the White House included $800 billion in new tax revenues, but the Speaker is resisting Obama's push to raise tax rates on the wealthiest 2 percent.

Boehner has also been criticized recently by some in his party for his decision to strip four members — Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) and Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) — of high-profile committee assignments.


The move triggered opposition from outside conservative groups that have undertaken efforts to replace Boehner as Speaker. But those calls have not received support from within the caucus.

While Amash has said he might not back Boehner to retain the gavel, Reps. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) on Sunday confidently predicted he would remain Speaker.