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Furloughed Government EPA Workers Protest In Denver

An EPA employee protests in Denver (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) - Americans are fed up with Congress. The approval rating for Congress has been dropping for some time, but it hit rock bottom with the government shutdown.

Only 10 percent of people approve of how Congress is doing its job. But it's not just the institution, it's both parties as 32 percent view Republicans favorably and 43 percent give Democrats a favorable rating.

Most people CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd talked with don't see the situation improving anytime soon.

"I think it's lousy, I think they're lousy," said Peggy Linn, a furloughed Environmental Protection Agency worker.

Fed up with the partisan bickering, people like Linn have had it.

"Congress no longer thinks about that they are supposed to be working for the people," Linn said.

"Compromise is not in their textbook right now," said Dave Christenson, furloughed EPA worker.

"The American public is not stupid," said Karen Kellen, furloughed EPA worker. "They can see what they're doing and they can see what they're not doing."

According to a new poll, 87 percent of people disapprove of Congress -- nearly 9 in 10.

"I think it's dysfunctional to let the government shutdown," said Brian Friel, furloughed EPA worker. "I hope that the voters will keep this in mind during next election cycle."

But Congress approval ratings have been low for years. The institution even ranked below communism, polygamy and head lice in 2011, and still voters re-elect the same legislators.

Between redistricting and closed party primaries, many lawmakers have no incentive to represent anything other than the extremes of their parties.

"I don't see a short-term fix. I think we'll keep lurching along from one fiscal crisis to another," Christenson said.

The poll found President Barack Obama's approval rating higher than Congress. Still, more than half of people polled disapprove of the job he's doing.

Independents are evenly split over whether the president or House Republicans are to blame for the shutdown, meaning neither party will emerge from it unscathed.


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