Congressional job approval highest in nearly 12 years

Americans have generally given Congress relatively low ratings historically, with an average 30% job approval rating since Gallup first measured it in 1974. Since 2005, Congress’ ratings have rarely met the historical norm, averaging 21%.

Congress did register ratings of 30% or higher twice last spring, after passage of the $2 trillion CARES Act addressed the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Congress’ approval rating also rose significantly after lawmakers passed a second major COVID-19 relief bill in late December, improving from 15% approval earlier that month to 25% in January. The Biden administration and Congress have made additional COVID relief a top priority.

The latest survey was conducted as the Senate tried former President Donald Trump on an impeachment charge. Though a majority of senators found Trump guilty of inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, the 57 votes for conviction fell short of the 67 needed to render that judgment. More Americans thought Trump should be convicted than acquitted.