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Ryan Dons Hard Hat as Congress Sinks

Congressional approval rating flirts with single digits

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It’s no wonder Speaker Paul D. Ryan keeps saying he won’t run for president : Just 11 percent of the public approves of the job Congress is doing.  

Who would buy boating lessons, after all, from the captain of the Exxon Valdez?  

According to the latest Economist/YouGov survey , Congress’ disapproval rating is a whopping 70 percent among registered voters. The 11 percent approval rating is relatively consistent with the survey’s tracking over the last several months. Back in February, the approval rating hit a trough of 9 percent, although the 70 percent disapproval held steady.  

Ryan seems to grasp this, as well as the overall negative tone of the campaign coming from front-runners Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.  

“I believe that we can once again be an optimistic party that is defined by our belief in the limitless possibility of our people,” he said Tuesday in what will likely be dubbed the April “Count Me Out” speech at the Republican National Committee headquarters. The survey of 1,392 registered voters was conducted from April 8 to 11.  

That largely tracks with other congressional approval polls, such as those done by Gallup, who last month pegged Congress with a 13 percent thumbs up and 84 percent thumbs down.  

On the same day Ryan ruled out running for president, again, he also went up into the Capitol Dome with NBC’s “Today” show to brag about something that has worked — the Dome restoration project, which is slated to be finished soon. NBC’s Peter Alexander made the connection between an ailing Capitol Dome and a broken Congress.  

“The symbolism is not lost on me,” the hard-hat clad Ryan replied.  

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