Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., swears in members of the House of Representatives during the opening of the 115th Congress in the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., on January 3, 2017. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. Congress' approval rating increased nine percent in one month to 28 percent, the highest since former President Barack Obama was inaugurated in 2009, a Gallup poll shows.
The jump from January's 19 percent approval rating to the 28 percent rating is short of Gallup's historical average of 30 percent. Gallup said the surge corresponds with an increase in the approval of Republicans, which more than doubled to 50 percent following the inauguration of President Donald Trump.
From January to February, the job approval of independents increased slightly to 25 percent and the approval of Democrats fell by eight percent to 11 percent. Gallup said the circumstances mirror what occurred after Obama was inaugurated when Democrats saw an increase but Republicans' approval dropped.
In 2009, U.S. Congress' approval from January to February increased by 12 percent.
"The 115th Congress has not passed significant legislation in its first weeks in office, and it has not been involved in many highly publicized activities other than the Senate's vetting and confirming Trump's various Cabinet appointments," Gallup said in a statement. "Most of the news focus has been on Trump himself, including his rapid-fire series of executive orders and tweets responding to news media and those who disagree with him."
Gallup said Trump has acted as a catalyst for Americans, mostly Republicans, to become more positive about Congress, adding that the future approval of Congress largely depends on the relationship between the GOP-led legislative branch of government and Trump's executive branch.
"Republicans' views of Congress could sour if they begin to perceive that the House and Senate are not fulfilling their more conservative aspirations for the body, even with their party's president in the White House," Gallup wrote.