Poll: One in seven Americans approve of Congress

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U.S. Capitol Building

(CNN) — It’s really no surprise: Americans aren’t thrilled with Congress.

That’s the finding of a new poll from Gallup, which shows the legislative branch has an approval rating of 14%.

But that’s not Congress’ low point in approval.

The body bottomed out at 10% in August 2012. The average for the year was 15%, Gallup said.

The poll was conducted about a week after the contentious fiscal cliff debate on Capitol Hill concluded and days after the new Congress was sworn in. That body has much ahead of it in the next few months – the U.S. will face default if the debt ceiling isn’t raised, the across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester will trigger on March 1 and the government runs out of funding later that month. Add to that some lawmakers’ desire for action after the Newtown elementary school shooting and President Barack Obama’s Cabinet nominees, and this Congress has a full plate.

The 14% approval rating is about as well as Congress scored after the 2011 debt ceiling showdown. In August and September of that year, they scored 13% and 15% approval ratings. The stalemate on Capitol Hill led to the creation of the sequester and to the downgrade of the U.S. credit rating.

Just over eight in 10 Americans disapprove of Congress, the new poll showed, and most had made up their mind: Only 6% of respondents said they did not have an opinion.

The Gallup survey included 1,011 adults contacted between January 7 and 10 and had a sampling error of plus or minus four points.

— CNN’s Gregory Wallace contributed to this report

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