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Millions of dollars in GOP ads haven't changed public support for Build Back Better

Two new polls show broad support for President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion social infrastructure package.

By Josh Israel - December 08, 2021
President Joe Biden

Republican-linked dark money groups have spent millions of dollars on false ads trying to convince voters to oppose President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan. But two new polls indicate the attacks haven’t made a dent in the strong public support for the $1.75 trillion social infrastructure package that includes climate and caregiving provisions.

A Monmouth University poll released Wednesday found that 61% of American adults support the Build Back Better plan, described in the survey as Biden’s spending plan “to expand access to healthcare and childcare, and provide paid leave and college tuition support,” and 35% oppose it. Those numbers were barely changed from the pollster’s June survey, which showed 61%-34% support.

Another poll, released Wednesday by Data for Progress, found that 64% of likely voters support Build Back Better and just 30% oppose it.

Data for Progress’ polling memo noted that this too has been quite consistent: “In four surveys since early November, Build Back Better is supported by at least 60 percent of all voters. Opposition to the legislation has remained well below 40 percent over the four surveys.”

Over the past few months, right-wing groups including the Club for Growth and the American Action Network have spent heavily on “issue ads” aimed at defeating the package.

These spots included several clearly false claims about what is in the bill and what impact it would have. Several incorrectly suggested the bill — which raises taxes on corporations and those earning $400,000 annually, but cuts 2022 taxes for millions of lower- and middle-income families — would mean a large tax hike for average Americans.

Some Republican lawmakers, all of whom unanimously oppose the package, claim the public is with them despite what polls show.

On Monday, Arkansas Rep. French Hill falsely tweeted that “over 2/3 of Americans do not support President Biden’s Build Back Broke bill.”

“The more details Americans learn about the President’s Build Back Better bill, the more unpopular it becomes,” claimed Idaho Sen. Jim Risch in November. “It’s time for Democrats to pull their reckless spending spree before it does irreversible damage to our country’s economy.”

Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe complained that the Senate had spent too much floor time “waiting for an unpopular, partisan bill.”

The House passed its version of Build Back Better on Nov. 19.

It is likely to see some changes in the Senate, where Democratic leaders are hoping to get something passed “before Christmas.”

Experts say passage would create and support hundreds of thousands of jobs, lower the federal budget deficit, and curb long-term inflation.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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