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Americans Sour on Congress After Debt Standoff


House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Aug. 1, 2011.

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Aug. 1, 2011.

Americans are losing patience with U.S. lawmakers following political infighting that brought the nation to the brink of default.

A New York Times/CBS News poll finds 82 percent of Americans disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job. The Times says that is the highest disapproval rating in the more than 30 years it has conducted the survey.

The poll found more than four out of every five Americans thought the debate over raising the country's borrowing limit had more to do with gaining a political advantage than about what was in the country's best interest. And almost 75 percent said the political wrangling hurt America's reputation around the world.

The poll found Americans were more negative about the behavior of Republicans than Democrats. Seventy-two percent of those surveyed said they disapproved of the way Republican lawmakers behaved, compared to 66 percent disapproving of the way Democrats conducted themselves.

Public opinion of the conservative Tea Party movement also diminished. The poll found 40 percent of the American public now views the Tea Party unfavorably, compared to just under 30 percent in mid-April.

The survey found Americans were less negative about President Barack Obama.

Forty-seven percent said they disapproved of the way he handled the debt crisis, while 46 percent said they approved.

The New York Times/CBS News survey spoke with 960 adults from across the U.S. and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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