The 118th Congress

NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist National Poll

Americans Divide About How to Deal with the National Debt… Half Support Raising Federal Debt Ceiling

Calls for compromise underscore the legislative agenda of the 118th Congress among Americans. As concerns rise about potentially defaulting on the national debt, a majority of Americans divide about the best way to get spending under control. Half of Americans support raising the federal debt ceiling to deal with the federal budget deficit. Support has grown for a $15 national minimum wage.

Compromise or Stand on Principle?
In general, is it more important for government officials in Washington to:
Source: NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll National Adults. Interviews conducted February 13th through February 16th, 2023, n=1,352 MOE +/- 3.3 percentage points. Totals may not add to 100% due to rounding.
  • Seven in ten Americans (70%) believe government officials should compromise to find solutions rather than stand on principle even if it means gridlock (28%). Compromise is preferred among Democrats (83%), Republicans (54%), and independents (69%).

  • Recognizing there will need to be a host of measures to close the national debt, Americans and registered voters divide about priorities. Half of voters believe lawmakers should mostly cut programs and services (50%), and 47% think they should emphasize increasing government revenues through taxes and fees. However, the proportion of those who favor raising taxes has increased from 37% in 2013. Democrats (71%) are more likely than independents (42%) and Republicans (22%) to advocate raising revenue rather than cutting programs.

  • A plurality of Americans (40%) blame both the Democratic Party and Republican Party equally for the current level of the national debt. 29% point a finger more at the Democrats, and 24% blame the Republicans. Six percent say neither party is to blame.

  • While Americans divide, a majority of registered voters (52%) support raising the federal debt ceiling to deal with the federal budget deficit, more than twice as many voters who supported this action in April 2011 (24%). 46%, down from 69%, oppose this approach. Support has more than doubled among Democrats (79% from 36%) and independents (47% from 22%). Even among Republicans, there has been a double-digit increase (26% from 16%).

  • 64% of Americans think a national minimum wage of $15 an hour is a good idea. This is up from 54% who shared this view in December 2019. 35%, down from 43%, consider the idea a bad one. Democrats (86%) overwhelmingly support a $15 national minimum wage while 60% of Republicans oppose it. However, support among Republicans (36% from 27%) and independents (65% from 47%) has increased.

"With the party realignment in the 118th Congress, how the debt ceiling is tackled is the first big test for the leadership," says Lee M. Miringoff, Director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

Americans Support U.S. Aid for Ukraine

67% of Americans think the United States is providing the right amount of support to Ukraine (42%) or believe it should be increased (25%). 32% believe the U.S. is sending too much support.

Majority Supports Investigation into Hunter Biden’s Business Dealings

57% of Americans are in favor of a congressional investigation into Hunter Biden’s business dealings. 40% oppose such an investigation. 63% of Democrats oppose a probe into Hunter Biden’s business activities, while more than one in three (34%) support a congressional investigation. 80% of Republicans and 64% of independents agree.

Two in Three Say Social Media Sites, Not the Government, Should Regulate Content

67% of Americans say it is the responsibility of social media sites to regulate themselves. 29%, though, say the government should set the rules and define problematic content.