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Giving direct benefits to voters is popular


Republican opposition to the APR has been tepid because it’s overwhelmingly popular, and the result is that people like Congress more than usual:

But the events of the first quarter of this year — the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, the February impeachment trial of Trump and the March passage of the rescue legislation that included $1,400 individual checks — sent Congressional approval ratings up to 36 percent, Gallup announced Tuesday.

That’s the highest level of public approval since June 2009, the last time when at least one in three Americans approved of how Congress handled its work. Back then Democrats had nearly 60 Senate seats and a House majority north of 255 seats, leading to quick passage of several key items to deal with the Great Recession.

Experts say this new wave of Congressional support is likely the result of voters enjoying getting direct cash payments from Washington.

“First, it helps that Congress is giving out money,” Amy Walter, national editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, said.

Whether the cash payments to families and the more educated Democratic base will allow Democrats to confound the usual disadvantage in-parties face in midterms remains highly uncertain, but it’s worth a shot.

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