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74 percent of Americans say government shutdown is 'embarrassing for the country'

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With the current shutdown of the federal government about to become the longest in U.S. history, most Americans aren’t celebrating.

Nearly three-quarters of U.S. citizens surveyed said the prolonged impasse over whether to fund President Trump’s wall on the border with Mexico is “embarrassing for the country,” according to an NPR/Ispos Poll released Friday.

More Democrats (78 percent) expressed their embarrassment than Republicans (56 percent), and a large majority (71 percent) said they thought Congress should pass a bill to reopen the government while budget talks continue.

IRS worker Christine Helquist
IRS worker Christine Helquist at a rally at the Federal Building, Jan., 10, 2019, in Ogden, Utah. (Photo: Rick Bowmer/AP)

House Democrats, who regained control of that body in the 2018 midterm elections, have passed two bills aimed at ending the shutdown, but Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has blocked votes on them, saying he and Minority Leader Charles Schumer agreed to not pass legislation the president did not support.

With the U.S. Senate adjourned until Monday, the current government shutdown, the third since Trump took office, is guaranteed to drag on past Saturday, making it the longest the nation has ever endured.

Union members and other federal employees
Union members and other federal employees protest the government shutdown on Capitol Hill, Jan. 10, 2019. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP)

Majorities of Republicans (77 percent) and Democrats (93 percent) surveyed said federal workers should receive back pay when the shutdown concludes. But 46 percent of Republicans said that those workers should not receive paychecks while the shutdown persisted. Only 27 percent of Democrats surveyed agreed.

As for who deserves blame for the shutdown, a Reuters/Ipsos Poll released Tuesday had bad news for the president. Fifty-one percent of Americans believe Trump “deserves the most blame,” while 32 percent said the Democrats do.

An NPR/Ipsos Poll also found that just 10 percent of those surveyed believed that Trump’s speech to the nation on Tuesday helped bring the nation closer to ending the impasse.


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