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Black Caucus chairman: People who approve of Congress 'need therapy'

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"I think that the 11 percent of Americans who think we're doing a good job need therapy," Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) said on CNN's "Starting Point."

Approval of how Congress is handling its job reached an all-time low this month, according to a CNN/ORC International poll released Monday. Only 11 percent of Americans approve of Congress, compared with 86 percent who disapprove.

"This is a very, very sad moment. I'm embarrassed, and every member of Congress ought to be," Cleaver said.

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He told CNN he is concerned that the partisan rift between parties might cause irreversible damage to the country.

"We can't get anything done because we've become, I think, pathologically partisan, and instead of trying to work together we look for new ways to try to agitate each other," Cleaver said. "It's not a good time, and frankly the American public is eventually going to bail out on us."

Cleaver said he expects a quick display of partisanship when the House reconvenes this week and votes on a resolution of disapproval on President Obama’s request to add $1.2 trillion to the $15.2 trillion federal debt. Most House Republicans are expected to vote for the resolution of disapproval on Wednesday.

House passage of the resolution would not prevent Obama from raising the debt ceiling, as the Democratic-led Senate would also have to approve it.

Cleaver appeared on CNN alongside Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), who agreed that the public is frustrated with the legislative branch, but said out-of-control spending is the reason why.

"With all due respect to my colleague from Missouri, what people do want to see is items like the resolution on the debt ceiling. They do not want Washington to take money. Washington takes too much money and it spends it on programs that people do not want,” Blackburn said.

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Blackburn argued that the public is disillusioned with Congress because it wants Congress to cut federal spending and limit government bureaucracy.

"They're very upset that members of the administration and the bureaucracy make more money than their colleagues in the private sector," she said.

However, Blackburn and Cleaver agreed that, regardless of the cause or solution, gridlock in Congress is spurring anger and frustration among voters.