United Kingdom

Americans’ faith in institutions has been sliding for years. The chaos in Congress isn’t helping

WASHINGTON (AP) — For many Americans, the Republican dysfunction that has ground business in the U.S. House to a halt as two wars rage abroad and a budget crisis looms at home is feeding into a longer-term pessimism about the country’s core institutions.


The lack of faith extends beyond Congress, with recent polling conducted both before and after the leadership meltdown finding a mistrust in everything from the courts to organized religion. The GOP internal bickering that for nearly three weeks has left open the speaker’s position — second in line to the presidency — is widely seen as the latest indication of deep problems with the nation’s bedrock institutions.


“They’re holding up the people’s business because they’re so dysfunctional,” said Christopher Lauff, 57, of Fargo, North Dakota.