Poll: Americans want lame-duck Congress to focus on border security, health care


A new poll released Wednesday by Hill.TV finds that a plurality of Americans want the GOP Congress to focus its waning days on border security and health care reform. 

Twenty-six percent of voters said they want legislators to prioritize border security in response to a question from the American Barometer poll on what they want from the lame-duck Congress. Eighteen percent said they want the government to focus on improving health care. 

Congress is expected to pass a measure this week to extend funding for the Department of Homeland Security and other parts of the government through Dec. 21.

A longer-term funding deal is being held up by a battle over funding for President Trump’s wall on the Mexican border.

Trump wants a final bill to include at least $5 billion in funding, while Democrats have not offered more than $1.6 billion.

“I don’t think anybody’s going to want to give,” Brett Loyd, a Republican pollster who heads up The Polling Company, said Wednesday on “What America’s Thinking.”

Among those who said they wanted Congress to focus on border security, 65 percent said they want the Republican-led chambers to include a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border in their legislation while 35 percent said they wanted a focus on border security but without a wall.

Partisans were divided in terms of their priorities. Half of Republicans, 50 percent, said they wanted Congress to focus on border security while only 10 percent of Democrats agreed. Only 18 percent of self-identified independent voters prioritized the issue.

Gun control was Democratic respondents’ top priority for Congress with 26 percent naming the issue as the one they wanted tackled before the year’s end. Twenty percent of Democrats said they want legislators to focus most on investigating foreign interference in U.S. elections. Just 6 percent of independents and 3 percent of Republicans agreed.

Health care was independents’ top priority with 22 percent saying they wanted the lame-duck Congress to focus on it. Ten percent of independents said they wanted Congress to simply do nothing for the rest of the year.

The survey was conducted online within the United States from Dec. 1 and 2 among 1,000 registered voters by HarrisX. The sampling margin of error of the poll is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

—Matthew Sheffield

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