Gallup’s update comes after Congress passed a major coronavirus relief package that then-President Donald Trump later signed into law in late December. Early in the poll’s field period, Democrats won two U.S. Senate runoff elections in Georgia, giving the party control of both houses of Congress in late January. The attack on the U.S. Capitol by rioters seeking to prevent Congress from officially declaring Joe Biden’s election victory also occurred during the poll’s field period. However, the survey was largely completed by the time the House of Representatives voted on Jan. 13 to impeach Trump on charges of incitement of insurrection for his actions leading up to the Capitol Hill riot.
It is unclear to what extent each of these events led to a higher job approval rating for Congress, though the institution did receive a similar boost in approval after passing the last major coronavirus relief package in late March.
Approval of Congress has increased the most among Democrats, moving from 11% in December to 30% in January. Independents also rate Congress better — showing an increase of nine points, from 16% to 25% — while Republicans’ level of support is essentially flat at 17%.