Polls show Democrats' $3.5 trillion budget plan is even more popular than bipartisan deal

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The Democrats' proposal would invest in climate, health care, and human infrastructure.

Two new polls show that a large majority of likely voters support the Senate's bipartisan infrastructure investment plan. The same surveys showed even more enthusiasm for the Democrats' budget reconciliation plan, which would invest more money on a broader range of priorities.

Both surveys were done over the past week by Data for Progress, a nonprofit progressive think tank, and asked about the $550 billion bipartisan infrastructure framework (now known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act) and elements of the Democrats' proposed $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package.

One survey, done for the pro-infrastructure group Invest in America, asked 1,254 likely voters whether they support or oppose the bipartisan infrastructure package "to invest $550 billion in transit and rail networks, roads and bridges, and environmental resiliency." A total of 65% said they did — including a 45% plurality of Republicans — and 25% said they did not. The main individual provisions of the legislation also each enjoyed majority or supermajority support.

They were also surveyed about whether Democrats should use the budget reconciliation process to pass a $3.5 trillion investment plan — funding long-term care, Medicare expansion, universal pre-kindergarten, and an expanded child tax credit and lowering the cost of prescription drugs — with just a simple majority. A total of 66% said yes, compared to 26% saying no. Even among Republicans, the plan enjoyed 47% support, versus 44% opposition.

That package — being put together by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders, and the Budget Committee's other Democratic members — would combine elements of President Joe Biden's American Families Plan and items from his American Jobs Plan that were not included in the bipartisan agreement.

A second poll of 1,194 likely voters, done for the pro-environment group Climate Power, asked about the bipartisan deal to "repair roads and bridges, modernize and expand transportation infrastructure, replace lead drinking water pipes, and upgrade our power infrastructure."

With that wording, 71% said they support the framework and 19% said they opposed it. Among GOP voters, the plan enjoyed 57%-31% backing.

Next, they were told that while the infrastructure agreement "makes investments in physical infrastructure," many lawmakers wanted "additional investments to address climate change and extreme weather, create jobs in clean energy, and reduce pollution," referencing priorities that would be part of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package.

A total of 75% indicated that those additional investments were important, including 55% of Republicans.

The strong support for the increased spending has been evident in other recent polling. A Politico/Morning Consult survey taken in the past week found that registered voters back every one of the main six investments in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act by at least 61%. Each was supported by a majority of Democrats, Republicans, and independents.

But not a single Republican has backed the Democrats' $3.5 trillion proposal. And last Wednesday, just 17 of the 50 Republicans in the Senate voted to even begin debate of the bipartisan infrastructure plan.

After that vote, Florida Sen. Rick Scott, who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, blasted those 17 GOP colleagues for "helping the Democrats" pass "reckless spending."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.