Polls Backing Obama on Sequestration

Photograph by Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg

President Barack Obama walks to the White House, with just three days until the $85 billion in reductions for this year are scheduled to start.

Two surveys out today show Americans siding with President Barack Obama over congressional Republicans on how best to address the automatic spending cuts due to take effect March 1.

A Washington Post/ABC News poll taken Feb. 20-24 showed 67 percent disapproving of the way congressional Republicans were handling federal spending, 15 points worse than the 52 percent disapproving of Obama. The poll showed 43 percent approving of the way Obama was handling spending and 26 percent saying the same about Republicans in Congress. The survey of 1,021 adults had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Republicans didn’t fare any better in a Feb. 21-24 survey by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal. Asked about the most important compromise Obama and Republicans should strike, respondents chose as No. 1 eliminating tax loopholes for the wealthy, which the president has proposed to offset the effects of the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration. Just 29 percent said they agreed with most of the congressional Republican agenda, while 57 percent disagreed. The poll showed 45 percent supporting most of what Obama has proposed and 46 percent disagreeing. That survey of 1,000 adults had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

Obama and congressional Democrats have proposed offsetting some of the spending cuts with higher taxes on wealthy Americans, primarily by closing loopholes that benefit them. House Republicans last year voted to offset defense cuts by reducing federal funding for food stamps and other domestic programs and remain opposed to higher taxes.

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