WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — An overwhelming majority of Americans said they favor members of Congress voluntarily returning a portion of their salaries to the U.S. Treasury or charity as a result of sequestration budget cuts.
A new Gallup poll finds that 78 percent of Americans favor Congress members returning 5 percent of their pay, and 79 percent favor Congress returning 25 percent of their salary. As a result of the sequestration cuts which went into effect on Mar.1, several elected officials followed President Obama’s lead by returning 5 percent of their salaries.
The amount of the return makes little difference to Americans, and slightly more even said they support a larger giveback.
Seventy eight percent of Gallup respondents say members of Congress should return 5 percent of their pay. A separate, random sample was asked about a 25 percent cut in pay, and 79 percent of Americans favored the larger amount.
Congressional salary returns also reflected data rarely seen in recent politics: there was virtually no difference in the views between Democrats and Republicans who responded to the survey.
Congress’ job approval in recent months has been extremely low, hitting 13 percent in March, which means the vast majority of Americans disapprove of the job their representatives have been doing in Washington.
Results for this Gallup poll were based on telephone interviews conducted April 6-7, 2013, on the Gallup Daily tracking survey, with a random sample of 1,025 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.