According to an Associated Press-NORC survey, the majority of Americans want the debt limit lifted “only if lawmakers include terms on lowering the country’s budget deficit.”
Participants were asked to choose the response that most closely matched their opinions on what Congress ought to do to address the borrowing cap as the country is on the verge of defaulting on its staggering $31.3 trillion national debt.
Only 19% of respondents think the cap should be lifted “without conditions”; this was the position taken for months by President Biden’s administration before talks with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) were initiated. Furthermore, only 34% of Democrats and 6% of Republicans favor an increase “without conditions.”
On the other hand, a majority of 63% of Americans, including the majority of Republicans and Democrats, want Congress along with President Biden to increase the borrowing ceiling “only if lawmakers attach terms on lowering the federal budget deficit.” Democrats only want the debt limit increased if budget cutbacks are included, according to 58% of them. Seventy-one percent of Republicans join them.
The Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023, which would increase the debt ceiling and slash expenditure, has been approved by the House of Representatives after months of calls from House Republicans for spending reductions outside of Social Security and Medicare. It is the only piece of legislation on Capitol Hill that has been approved by the Senate or the House to avert a catastrophic default. According to the Congressional Budget Office, it could save $4.8 trillion over the next ten years.
There are just 16% of Americans who “do not support plans to increase the national debt limit based on any circumstances,” including 7% of Democrats and 23% of Republicans.
The majority of respondents (66%) are either “Extremely” or “Highly concerned” about the state of the economy in the event of a default. Only 6% of people are “Not concerned,” while another 27% are “Somewhat concerned.”
Many Americans disapprove of the way Biden and members of Congress from both parties have “handled” the debt limit talks. Of the respondents, 48% disapprove of how Biden has handled the situation, while 49% do not approve of how Republicans in Congress or the Democrats in Congress have handled it.
Between May 11 and 14, the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research sampled 1,680 individuals nationwide. 3.4 percentage points are plus or minus the margin of error.