Most Americans say low trust in federal government makes it difficult to solve problems

A majority of Americans believes low trust in the federal government is a hurdle to solving problems, data from Pew Research Center revealed on Monday.

According to Pew, 64 percent of Americans shared that view while 41 percent said that the lack of confidence was "a very big problem." Those surveyed also said trust in the federal government has been declining.

"Trust in the federal government and the people running it is clearly quite low among much of the public, and most Americans are aware that the public lacks confidence in its leadership," Pew reported. It added, however, a lack of public trust ranked lower than other problems that Americans were asked to consider.

The polling came as the government approached a deadline for extending the debt ceiling, a highly contentious issue that has divided Congress along partisan lines and threatened to disrupt markets.

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The Trump administration and congressional leaders, including Democrats, have reached a critical debt and budget agreement that all but eliminates the risk of another government shut down this fall -- but that has already drawn fierce blowback from fiscal conservatives worried about overspending, as well as progressives unhappy with where the money could go.

The data revealed that only 37 percent of Americans said they had at least a fair amount of confidence in elected officials to act in the public's best interests. The vast majority (63 percent) said they had "not too much" or "no confidence at all" in elected officials.

That was slightly lower than the general malaise surrounding the federal government. 67 percent of Americans said they had "not too much" or "no confidence at all" in the federal government.

By contrast, the military shared a "fair amount" of confidence from the majority of Americans. A majority also expressed that level of confidence in public school principals, police officers, college and university professors, religious leaders, journalists, and scientists.

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Trust levels reportedly varied according to partisan affiliation. The police and military officers, for example, were much more likely to enjoy a great deal or fair amount of confidence from Republicans than Democrats.

The two parties seemed to find common ground, however, in distrust for elected officials. Only 37 percent of Republicans and 36 percent of Democrats said they had a fair amount or great deal of confidence in that group of people.

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Democrats tended, more than Republicans, to trust career employees at government agencies who weren't appointed by a president.

Fox News' Gregg Re contributed to this report.