November 22, 2011 / 10:18 PM / 7 years ago

Americans blame all sides for committee failure: poll

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Americans blame the failure of the U.S. congressional debt “super committee” on Republican and Democratic lawmakers and President Barack Obama, although more than a third said it lowered their opinion of the president, according to Reuters/Ipsos poll results on Tuesday.

An aide peeks in the committee room door as Democratic members of the 'super committee' wrap up a meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington November 16, 2011. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Eighteen percent blamed Republican lawmakers most for the committee’s failure to reach agreement on a plan to reduce the U.S. budget deficit and 13 percent blamed the Democratic president most.

Only 7 percent primarily blamed Democratic lawmakers, according to the poll, conducted on Monday and Tuesday.

A 12-member congressional “super committee” abandoned its high-profile effort to address the U.S. debt crisis on Monday, cementing perceptions that Republicans and Democrats are too divided to tackle the country’s biggest problems.

Nineteen percent of Americans blamed a combination of Democratic and Republican lawmakers and 22 percent blamed a mix of lawmakers from both parties and Obama, despite the two political parties’ best efforts to blame each other for the impasse.

Thirty-five percent said the committee’s failure to reach an agreement made their view of Obama less favorable, compared with 14 percent who said it made them more favorable, and 38 percent who said it made no difference.

The online survey also found that 35 percent of Americans saw a combination of cuts in existing programs and higher taxes as the best way to reduce the yawning U.S. budget deficit.

And 35 percent said the U.S. economy would decline when asked what they saw as the most critical issue stemming from the committee’s failure to reach a deal.

The poll was conducted November 21-22, after it became known that the committee would not reach an agreement.

The survey of 1,331 Americans, ages 18 and over, included 501 Republicans and 608 Democrats. Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online polls but this poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, editing by Alistair Bell

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