By Jason Lange
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Neither President Joe Biden’s Democrats nor Republicans in Congress emerged victorious in the battle to raise the debt ceiling by $31.4 trillion, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll.
The survey, conducted after Congress passed a bipartisan agreement to increase the borrowing limit, found that 50% of Americans believe neither party came out on top, while another 20% said the two parties had won.
Another 20% said they thought Democrats emerged with the better side of the deal, while 11% said Republicans did better, according to the four-day poll that ended Monday.
The poll found self-identified Democrats were more likely to be happy with the outcome. Some 80% of Democrats liked how President Joe Biden handled the end of the talks on their side, while just 13% took a dim view of Biden’s performance.
In contrast, only 44% of Republicans approved of the way their party’s top congressman, US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, handled the case for Republicans. Forty-two percent disapproved.
McCarthy’s poor grades reflect deep divisions within his party. Hard-line Republicans who have called for deeper government spending cuts during the talks have warned that McCarthy’s job could be in jeopardy.
Biden and McCarthy reached an agreement last week to suspend the debt ceiling during weeks of negotiations between Biden’s White House and Republicans who control the House of Representatives.
Biden signed the deal on Saturday, averting the financial disaster that would have occurred had Washington been forced to stop paying all of its bills.
Politicians on both sides have touted the deal as a victory, with Republicans touting cuts in non-military spending. Biden said the compromises in the deal were a sign the polarized nation could bridge its political divides.
Critics of the deal on the right said the cuts didn’t go far enough, while Progressives criticized increased work requirements for struggling Americans receiving food or cash aid and provisions streamlining approvals for fossil fuel projects in a climate change crisis.
The deal would cut spending by $1.3 trillion, less than the $4.8 trillion Republicans had sought. This does little to slow the growth of the federal debt which is on track to top $50 trillion in a decade.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll surveyed 1,004 American adults nationwide and had a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of about 4% in either direction.
(Reporting by Jason Lange; editing by Andy Sullivan and Aurora Ellis)