What Americans Want to see from Congress and the White House

By Gloria Dittus – During President Trump’s State of the Union address, the President expressed the need for bipartisanship as he outlined his priorities before a joint session of Congress.  With calls for bipartisanship coming just a few weeks after the resolution of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, some have questioned the ability of the President and Congress to work together.  Despite these concerns, the American people want action and results from their elected representatives.

According to a January 2019 PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, seven in ten Americans disapprove of shutting down the government to reach policy consensus.  In fact, recent findings from Gallup show there’s been a rise in the number of Americans who believe that government itself is the most important problem facing our country.

That’s because the American people want to know that their elected officials are working for them.  Americans expect their leaders to come together to address our nation’s most pressing challenges.

Research findings from Pew shows that strengthening the economy, reducing health care costs, and defending the country from terrorism, are some of Americans’ top priorities in 2019.  The President expressed his intent to address these issues in his State of the Union address.  While there are differences among our leaders on how to address these issues, many members of Congress on both sides of the aisle agree that our economy, health care system and foreign policy are among their top priorities.

We’ll see in the coming weeks and months if the President and Congress can work past their differences and come to a consensus on the issues that are most important to the American people.  Despite the fact that Congress is divided by political ideologies and priorities, the American public expects bipartisanship and compromise from their elected representatives.

View the February 2019 edition of the Inside Story newsletter.