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Approval Mirrors Prospect of Accord

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
Rep. Kathy Hochul said lawmakers have an obligation "to use all of our resources, pull together, start treating each other like human beings on both sides of the aisle and do what the people want us to do."

The approval rating was 2 points lower than the results of a poll taken a month ago and is the first time the rating has fallen to single digits since the question was first asked in 1977, according to CBS News.

The survey of 1,650 adults has a 3-point margin of error.

A Senate Democratic leadership aide agreed with Kyl, saying, “Those numbers aren’t going to go up until the economy goes up.”

Democrats and Republicans have been trying to focus on legislation that would help boost the economy and create jobs, but they don’t agree on what will work.

Senate Democrats are implementing a strategy of holding votes on elements of President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs package, which they contend would help put people back to work. The cost of the plan would be offset by raising taxes on millionaires — a move that Republicans oppose.

In the House, Republicans are also taking a piecemeal approach to some of the president’s jobs package, including a vote today on a repeal of a 3 percent tax withholding requirement for government contractors that was enacted under President George W. Bush. The White House on Tuesday said it supports the legislation.

Adding to the confusion, the Senate last week defeated a similar measure that Democratic leaders worked to defeat because Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) appeared to be trying to use it as a contrast with another Democratic jobs measure.

While many Democrats have balked at the piecemeal approach, Rep. Kathy Hochul, one of the newest Members of the House, said, “Count me in” if it means getting something done.

“After seven town hall meetings, the No. 1 issue I took away was jobs. No. 2 was, ‘Why can’t you all just get along?’” the New York Democrat said. “We have a moral obligation to use all of our resources, pull together, start treating each other like human beings on both sides of the aisle and do what the people want us to do: Stop fighting, get the job done and live up to the American people.

“I’ve decided I’m going to start a caucus called the ‘Why-can’t-we-all-just-get-along caucus’ because that’s what people want us to do. And if I’m one person alone, I’ll sit and have a beer by myself,” Hochul said.

The Senate next week will vote on another part of Obama’s jobs bill, a provision that would provide $60 billion to upgrade the nation’s infrastructure.

The bill would be paid for with a 0.7 percent tax on millionaires. Republicans are not expected to back the measure, and it is therefore unlikely to win the 60 votes needed for the Senate to consider the bill.

Democrats contend that most Americans support the idea of having the more affluent pay a little more to help jump-start the economy.

Republicans have questioned the effectiveness of the Democratic plan and have called for reduced regulations, which they argue has hamstrung the economy.

A House GOP leadership aide said Republicans want to work with “the president and the rest of Washington to pass legislation that creates jobs.”

The aide pointed to the 3 percent withholding repeal bill as one area of common ground.

Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said he expects the rating to improve as Congress increasingly passes legislation.

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