Rep. Bonner: Spending fight worth the price of an unpopular Congress

Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) on Monday said it's worthwhile for Republicans to keep pushing for spending cuts, even if the fight with President Obama is leading to high unfavorable ratings for Congress.

"I will continue to oppose any agreement that does not address the root cause of our government's historic debt — rampant overspending," Bonner said Monday. "If doing so makes Congress less popular than the plague, that is a small price to pay for the futures of our children and grandchildren."

Bonner was reacting to a study from Public Policy Polling (PPP), which found Congress is less popular than root canals, used-car salesmen and colonoscopies, with a favorability rating of just 9 percent.

ADVERTISEMENT
Bonner said the president is partly to blame for today's unpopular Congress, because Obama is "absolutely opposed" to working with Republicans on trimming federal spending.

"For each of the four years he has been president, Mr. Obama has presided over annual budget deficits exceeding $1 trillion and his first term of office has seen our national debt increase to a record $16 trillion," he said. "Mr. Obama's blunt refusal to acknowledge the country's crisis of government overspending is also shared by his chief supporters in Congress."

Bonner also said Congress is unpopular because Congress is split, just like the millions of people who vote.

"[S]hould Americans really be surprised that their members of Congress are often at odds with one another when polling reflects the population to be similarly split over key policy decisions such as tax cuts for all and government overspending?" he asked.

Democrats hailed the PPP study as proof that House Republicans are too demanding of spending cuts, and too unwilling to compromise with Democrats on major legislation. But Bonner also downplayed the study by saying Congress has always been unpopular.

"[F]ederal lawmakers have never really enjoyed popular approval for very long," he said. "Political humorist Will Rogers observed that America is safer when Congress is not in session. Mark Twain went even further, characterizing Congress as 'America's native criminal class.' "

More in House

Ethics opens probe into Rep. Whitfield

Read more »