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Can 'World's Greatest Deliberative Body' fix broken Washington?

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Regarding the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), the Collins proposal also would delay for two years a tax on medical devices, and it included stronger income verification for those deemed eligible for insurance subsidies under the new law.

Democrats saw that as merely delaying the debt ceiling fight for three months, and they rejected it. But the Collins proposal – at least its major elements – remained a point of discussion as Reid, McConnell, and their top lieutenants reconvened Sunday.

Whatever they eventually come up with – which will then have to be considered by the more-fractious House as the Oct. 17 debt ceiling deadline moves inexorably closer – undoubtedly will impact public opinion moving toward the 2014 mid-term elections.

Historically, job security for lawmakers is unusually high – unusual given the low opinion in which their institution itself is held.

“In 2012, Congressional approval averaged 15 percent, the lowest in nearly four decades of Gallup polling,” Washington Post political blogger Chris Cillizza noted earlier this year. “And yet, 90 percent of House Members and 91 percent of Senators who sought re-election won last November.”

Could that change in 2014? Gerrymandering, changes in election and campaign law (voting rights and money), and outside influences (money again, plus the tea party) make that hard to answer with any certainty.

And yet a new HuffPost/YouGov poll should be making lawmakers nervous.

“Do you think most members of Congress deserve to be reelected, or not?” 1,000 US adults were asked. Seventy percent said “no,” and only 11 percent said “yes.”

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