Kevin McCarthy

NEWS: Majority of Americans say debt ceiling increase should come with spending cuts: poll

A majority of Americans agree with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s stance that the nation’s debt ceiling should only be raised if it is accompanied by spending cuts, according to a new poll. 

The CNN poll released on Tuesday found that 60% of Americans only support Congress increasing the nation’s borrowing limit if government spending is reduced at the same time. 

The survey results come amid negotiations between the White House and House Republicans to raise the debt ceiling before a June 1 deadline to avoid a possible default.

Almost half of registered Democrats surveyed, or 45%, backed tying spending cuts to a debt ceiling increase, along with most Republicans, 79%, and 58% of independents.

Only 24% of those surveyed said the debt ceiling should be raised no matter what. 

Just 15% said Congress should not raise the debt ceiling under any circumstance. 

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has vowed not to agree to any deal with President Biden that doesn’t reduce government spending next year.

The poll found that most Americans have doubts about the priorities of the two sides during the debt ceiling talks.

Only 31% believe that President Biden has the “right priorities,” and 29% said the same of House GOP leaders. 

While 71% responded that Congress failing to raise the nation’s borrowing limit would lead to a crisis or major problems for the country, far less – 35% – believe the repercussions would impact their own finances. 

Less than half, 43%, believe it would cause a major negative impact on the unemployment rate, according to the poll.

Wall Street traders
Congress faces a June 1 deadline to raise the debt ceiling before the Treasury Department runs out of money to pay for existing debt.
AFP via Getty Images

Members of both parties fear their side will give up more in the negotiations than the government defaulting on its debt. 

Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, 73% responded that they are more concerned with Biden giving up too much and agreeing to slash government programs than the government not being able to pay its debts. 

Joe Biden
Biden’s approval stands at 40%, according to the latest CNN poll.
AFP via Getty Images

Equally, 73% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said they are more concerned that McCarthy’s negotiators will give up too much and government spending will continue at its current level than a debt default. 

The CNN poll of 1,227 adults, conducted by SSRS from May 17-20, also found that Biden’s approval rating stands at 40% and has been falling since January, when 45% approved of his job performance. 

More specifically, only 35% said they approve of the way the 80-year-old commander-in-chief is handling the federal budget, 34% approve of his handling of the economy, and just 30% approve of his handling of immigration. 

More than half of Americans, 52%, believe the Biden administration has worsened the crisis at the southern border, while only 12% say it has improved and 37% feel the administration has made no difference. 

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