Congress has an approval rating stuck at 13 percent, thanks in some part to the candidates running for president.
Congress has struggled to drum up much public support in the face of gridlock and government shutdowns on Capitol Hill, according to The Hill. Adding to the fray are Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton talking badly about the legislative branch as they vie for the Oval Office.
The other candidates who ultimately did not make their party's presidential ballot — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, for example — made a habit of speaking ill of Congress while they were on the campaign trail.
"It's hard to raise the approval rating of Congress when both presidential candidates and the incumbent president are bashing it 24/7," Republican pollster Frank Luntz told The Hill.
House Speaker Paul Ryan has been pushing an agenda he calls "A Better Way," which was intended to help improve the public's view of Congress, but not much has changed.
Luntz told The Hill he thought Ryan's presence as the top-ranked member of the House would have helped the situation by now, but it goes deeper than that.
"His willingness to cooperate with Democrats to get things done is exactly what a majority of Americans want," Luntz said. "But the partisanship is so poisonous that I don't think anyone could raise congressional approval right now."
The Hill cites a pair of surveys that rank the public's perception of Congress in the low teens: a YouGov/Economist survey (12 percent) and a Public Policy Polling survey (13 percent).
What is not likely helping Congress' approval rating is the fact it was off for nearly two months over the summer, from July through early September.
Last week, before Congress began another recess that will stretch until after the November election, lawmakers passed a funding bill that averted a government shutdown.
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