Poll: Americans disagree with Obama’s call for ‘clean’ debt limit increase

September 26, 2013

A new Bloomberg poll shows six in 10 Americans disagree with President Obama's call for Congress to pass a so-called "clean" debt limit increase -- i.e. a bill that increases the government's borrowing authority without any spending cuts or other provisions.

The poll shows 61 percent disapprove of such a strategy, while 28 percent say the debt limit should be raised no matter what in order to protect the full faith and credit of the United States government.

It's not unusual for Americans to favor the broad idea of spending cuts, but the poll suggests the GOP may have the upper hand when it comes to luring Obama away from his hard-line stance on the debt limit.

Obama has said he won't negotiate at all on the matter.

At the same time, a different wording of the question can yield a significantly different result. A January Washington Post-ABC News poll, by contrast, found that just 38 percent of Americans said raising the debt limit should be tied to spending cuts, while 58 percent said they should be separate issues.

The Treasury Department has said that the government will run out of borrowing authority on Oct. 17 -- the deadline for Congress to come to an agreement on lifting the amount of money it is allowed to borrow.

The debt limit debate is separate from the current budget debate, which requires Congress to pass a budget by Monday to avoid a government shutdown.

Obama has made the argument that the debt has already been racked up through spending approved by Congress, and that he merely needs Congress to authorize the government to pay its bills.

The Bloomberg poll was conducted by Selzer and Co.

Scott Clement contributed to this report.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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