It’s not unfair that CNN reported on difficult times for the Republican-led Congress. However, in Bill Schneider’s report for CNN’s The Situation Room this afternoon, there was virtually no mention of how the Democrats in the House and Senate may have contributed to the low approval ratings for the legislative branch.
Schneider’s report, which aired at 4:30pm EDT, blamed the low poll numbers on several factors, while barely implicating Democrats in Congress’ inaction. Instead, Schneider wondered "how low" can GOP lawmakers go?
"Approval of Congress has dropped from 35 to 25 percent. Why? Oh let’s see. Congress can’t pass immigration reform. They can’t pass a budget. They can’t even control their own spending. Ethics? Don’t get us started. Jack Abramoff, Tom DeLay, Duke Cunningham and now a Democrat, William Jefferson, under investigation."
It should be noted that Schneider excluded senior Democrat Allan Mollohan from his list of those involved in ethics scandals, despite the fact Mollohan stepped aside from his position as ranking member of the House ethics committee because of his own alleged ethics violations.
[full transcript behind the cut]
Bill Schneider: "Wolf, how low can you go? Not President Bush. Congress. You’ve probably heard that President Bush is dropping in the polls. The latest evidence comes from the Associated Press-Ipsos poll. It shows Bush’s job approval falling from 40 percent in February, just after the State of the Union speech, to 33 percent now. Think that’s bad? Here’s something worse. Approval of Congress has dropped from 35 to 25 percent. Why? Oh let’s see. Congress can’t pass immigration reform. They can’t pass a budget. They can’t even control their own spending. Ethics? Don’t get us started. Jack Abramoff, Tom DeLay, Duke Cunningham and now a Democrat, William Jefferson, under investigation. Can Congress do something about gas prices? Why yes. A $100 rebate for all Americans. That proposal got laughed off the agenda."
Senator Dick Durbin: "What does $100 buy you? Two tanks of gas if you’re lucky? Is that the best we can do in Washington, D.C., and then say adios voters, see you in November, we’ve taken care of the problem? Well, we certainly have not."
Schneider: "There’s mounting evidence that voters may take out their anger on Republicans this fall. It’s their Congress, has been for most of the past 12 years. A majority of Americans say they’d like to turn Congress over to the Democrats. Just over a third want Republicans to stay in charge. Some Republicans see the tsunami warning."
Representative Chris Shays: "I happen to believe we’re losing our moral authority to lead this place."
Schneider: "They’re also losing their base. While 70 percent of Republicans continue to approve of the job President Bush is doing, only about half that number approve of the job Congress is doing. More than 60 percent are down on Congress, and those are Republicans. Has Congress’s approval rating ever been this low before? Yes, in 1994, which was the last time angry voters overthrew the majority party in Congress. Wolf?"