While House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has repeatedly accused the White House of failing to offer a "serious" budget plan, the results of a Pew Research Center poll suggest that a majority of Americans have not been swayed by his claims.
The poll showed that 55 percent of Americans think President Barack Obama is making a "serious effort" to reach an agreement on the budget deficit compared to 38 percent that think he is not.
On the other hand, 57 percent of Americans think Republican leaders are not making a "serious effort" to reach an agreement. Thirty-two percent think the GOP is making a "serious effort."
In remarks Thursday, Boehner continued to blame Obama for the lack of progress on a budget agreement, claiming that the president is not serious about cutting government spending.
"Unfortunately, the White House is so unserious about cutting spending that it appears willing to slow-walk any agreement and walk our economy right up to the fiscal cliff," Boehner said at his weekly press conference.
He added, "Doing that puts jobs in our country in danger, it jeopardizes a golden opportunity to make 2013 the year that we enact fundamental tax reform and entitlement reform to begin to solve our country's debt problem and, frankly, revenue problem."
Boehner's remarks continued a recent line of attack from Republicans, who have accused the president of focusing only on tax hikes rather than offering a serious plan to reduce spending.
Meanwhile, Democrats continue to put the blame for a lack of an agreement on Republicans, noting that the GOP leadership continues to oppose raising tax rates on wealthy Americans.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Thursday he is "mystified" that there hasn't been movement from the Republicans on the issue of taxes.
Obama and Boehner met at the White House Thursday evening, although it is unclear if the two men were able to make any progress on narrowing the gap between their opposing budget proposals.
A joint statement described the 50-minute meeting as "frank" and said "the lines of communication remain open."
The Pew Research Center poll also showed that Obama's approval rating has risen to 55 percent, up five points since July and 11 points since the start of the year.
Just 25 percent of Americans approve of the way Republican leaders in Congress are doing their jobs, while 40 percent approve of Democratic leaders' job performance.
The survey of 1,503 adults was conducted December 5th through 9th and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.
by RTT Staff Writer
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