Poll: Public split over raising debt ceiling

The public is split on whether Congress should authorize another increase in the debt ceiling, according to an ABC News-Washington Post poll released Wednesday.

The survey found that 46 percent favor raising the debt ceiling, against 43 percent who say Congress should let the government default on its loans.

ADVERTISEMENT
However, the public is overwhelmingly worried about the consequences of a default, with 73 percent saying a failure to raise the debt limit could do serious damage to the U.S. economy.

There is a predictably sharp partisan divide over whether Democrats or Republicans are better equipped to handle the issue. Forty-three percent said they trust President Obama’s approach, against 40 percent who said they favor congressional Republicans.

However, the public believes Obama is more willing to negotiate a reasonable solution, with 51 percent saying he’s doing enough to compromise, against 64 percent who say Republicans aren’t doing enough to find a middle ground.

House Republicans leaders on Wednesday said they were working on legislation to raise the debt ceiling, but that it would include a one-year delay in the implementation of the president’s healthcare law.

The White House says it will not negotiate over the country’s borrowing limit, and will not consider a debt limit package that seeks to delay or defund ObamcaCare.

The last debt limit showdown in 2011 dragged Congress and the president’s approval ratings to new lows, and resulted in the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester.

The ABC News-Washington Post poll found the public slowly warming to the sequester cuts, with 43 percent saying they approve, up from 35 earlier in the year. However, 50 percent said they disapprove of the cuts.

The poll of 1,004 adults was conducted between Sept. 12-15 and has a 4-point margin of error.