Debt ceiling debate sparks division among Americans, poll shows

According to a recent NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist poll, Americans are divided on whether Congress should vote to raise the debt ceiling before a possible default occurs this summer, The Hill reported.

The poll found that 52% of registered voters support raising the debt ceiling, while 46% oppose it. This represents a significant increase from 2011, the last time Congress faced a confrontation over the debt limit when only 24% supported raising it.

Support for raising the debt ceiling has increased across the political spectrum over the past decade, with Democrats at 79%, independents at 47%, and Republicans at 26%. It’s important to note that raising the debt ceiling won’t allow the government to spend more money but instead allows it to pay back the debt for expenses already taken on.

The Treasury Department has already started taking “extraordinary measures” to avoid a national debt default, but the measures could be exhausted between July and September if Congress doesn’t raise the ceiling. Many Republicans are calling for spending cuts in exchange for their vote to raise the debt limit, but House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has ruled out cuts to Social Security or Medicare.

President Biden has called for a “clean” bill to raise the ceiling without any conditions on spending cuts.

The poll also found that Americans mostly blame both Democrats and Republicans equally for the amount of debt the country has incurred, while respondents overwhelmingly support politicians compromising to find solutions amid a divided Congress.

The poll was conducted from Feb. 13-16 among 1,352 registered voters, with a margin of error of 3.3 points.

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