Poll: 65 percent oppose tying ObamaCare to shutdown, debt ceiling fights

The public is no more enthused about the GOP’s position when it comes to the looming fight over raising the nation’s debt ceiling. The Treasury Department says it will run out of money around Oct. 17, and will not be able to pay its debts unless Congress agrees to extend the debt limit.

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Asked whether lawmakers should include a one-year delay for the implementation of the healthcare law in a debt-ceiling agreement, respondents said the issues should be dealt with separately by a 65 percent to 31 percent margin. 

The public also overwhelmingly opposed tying the debt limit to cuts to domestic discretionary programs, as well as “cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal entitlements.”

The public was most strongly opposed to a popular GOP proposal to tie the debt limit to a requirement that President Obama authorize the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. 

Environmental groups are adamantly opposed to the pipeline, a 1,700-mile project that would carry oil from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico.

According to the survey, the public thinks Keystone and the debt ceiling should be dealt with separately by a 70 percent to 24 percent margin.

The results underline the political risk for the Republican Party if lawmakers refuse to blink on their current approach to funding the government and raising the debt ceiling. 

A U.S. debt default would have huge repercussions for the economy, and poll results suggest the public would hold Republicans responsible for a potential double-dip recession.  

Despite overwhelming opposition to GOP policy proposals, the poll found the public is divided over who to blame for the current shutdown. Thirty-eight percent point fingers at Republicans, 30 percent fault President Obama and 19 percent hold both responsible.

United Technologies/National Journal surveyed 1,000 adults from Oct. 3-6 with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.