While Republicans' first act after taking over the House was to vote
on repealing the health care reform law, a new poll suggests the public would rather lawmakers focus on jobs.
A CBS News/New York Times survey
out Thursday found 43 percent of Americans believe the most important thing for the new Congress to deal with is job creation -- compared to just 18 percent who say the top priority should be health care.
Fourteen percent said the massive federal budget deficit
should be foremost on the minds of lawmakers. Most Americans believe the deficit is a very serious problem that will create hardships for future generations, according to CBS/Times
Asked how Congress should deal with the deficit, a strong majority said by cutting government programs, not raising taxes. Respondents were given three programs -- the military, Medicare and Social Security -- from which to cut. Fully 55 percent chose the military. Twenty-one percent cited Medicare, and 13 percent said Social Security.
The CBS/Times survey had similar findings to a Gallup poll
that also noted that concerns over the deficit were inching up. But in that poll
as well, the deficit still ranked far behind the economy and jobs when voters listed priorities for Congress.
When it comes to the landmark health care reform legislation passed last year, a CBS/Times poll
found more Americans now say they want to keep the law in place rather than repeal it. Forty-eight percent of respondents said the law should stand, compared to 40 percent who want to see it repealed.
Along party lines, fully 73 percent of Republicans favor repeal, while only 16 percent of Democrats do. Seventy-seven percent of Democrats want to keep the law, compared to just 16 percent of Republicans.
Among voters who favor repeal, 50 percent say they want the law rolled back completely. Forty-four percent want only certain parts of it repealed.
House Republicans voted
overwhelmingly Wednesday to repeal President Obama's health care reform law, keeping a campaign promise that helped them retake the majority in November. The vote was a largely symbolic exercise because it's doomed to fail in the Senate.