A majority of voters support President Joe Biden’s nearly $4 trillion combined efforts to overhaul and modernize American infrastructure and boost education and child care, a recent poll shows.
After signing a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 pandemic relief bill in March, Biden has pressed for more than $2 trillion in infrastructure improvements and nearly $2 trillion to provide free community college and expand child care. Invest in America, a research group, and Data for Progress, a progressive think tank, surveyed more than 1,200 likely voters in mid-May, with 58% of those polled supporting Biden’s spending plans, even if Democrats must pass them without Republican support.
A majority of voters surveyed, 51% to 32%, prefer Biden’s plans over a Republican infrastructure proposal that’s closer to $568 billion — less than a third of what Democrats are pushing for.
Sixty-three percent say changes in the way corporations are taxed should fund infrastructure improvements, as opposed to unspent pandemic aid or raising revenue from fees such as tolls. Fifty-five percent called on Republicans to work in good faith with Biden and the Democrats to hammer out a deal, according to the poll’s results released last week.
Beyond investments in roads and bridges, the president seeks to modernize the economy and combat climate change, with billions earmarked for renewable energy jobs, electric vehicles, upgrades to the nation’s power grid and sewer systems, retrofitting buildings, hospitals and schools, expanding broadband, and training to boost manufacturing.
In the families plan, he wants to expand and extend tax cuts for lower- and middle-income workers and families, expanding access to universal preschool and community college, and make child care more affordable and high-quality.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy recently claimed three-quarters of Democrats’ infrastructure proposal amounted to a “wish-list of progressive policies” instead of “traditional infrastructure.”
“That’s why House Republicans have proposed a plan to focus on the most critical infrastructure concerns we are facing today,” he said. Republicans are also calling for regulatory reform, seeking to continue Trump administration moves to roll back environmental review processes that they argue cause delays to vital infrastructure projects.
No Republican supported the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, the American Rescue Plan. Democrats bypassed the legislative filibuster — the Senate’s requirement for most bills to garner at least 60 votes to advance — by attaching the package to the annual budget reconciliation bill, which only requires a simple majority to pass.
To get the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan on the president’s desk, the Biden team and top progressives say they’re willing to go it alone again if Republicans refuse to get on board.
“We would like bipartisanship, but I don’t think we have a seriousness on the part of the Republican leadership to address the major crisis facing this country,” Sen. Bernie Sanders told CBS News on Sunday. “And if they’re not coming forward, we’ve got to go forward alone.”
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