Congress suffers from its worst approval rating in the history of the Gallup poll, the polling organization said Wednesday.
Just 13 percent of U.S. adults said they approve of the way Congress is handling its job, the lowest mark in the 30 years Gallup has been tracking the popularity of lawmakers' work in Washington.
A full 83 percent of Americans said that they disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job, according to a new poll released Wednesday, as the House and Senate wrap up work on a lame-duck session.
Approval of Congress had hit its previous all-time low as the recession was beginning to unfold in the summer of 2008. Fourteen percent of Americans said in July of 2008 that they approved of the way Congress was handling its job.
The low approval ratings cut across party lines, too. Seven percent of Republicans approve of the way Congress is handling its job, and 13 percent of independents approve of Congress. The popularity of the Democratic-held House and Senate among supporters has declined since October; 16 percent of Democrats said now that they approve of Congress, down from 38 percent in October.
It's unclear whether the ambitious lame-duck agenda has driven the decline in the congressional approval rating, or whether the poor popularity numbers are a natural byproduct in the aftermath of an election in which voters awarded the other party control of the House next year. Gallup's historical data suggests that when Republicans take control of the House in January, Congress could enjoy a bump in popularity.
The poll, conducted between Dec. 10-12, has a 4 percent margin of error.