With the agreed upon deadline for Democratic leaders and the Trump White House to reach a deal on coronavirus relief just hours away, a survey released Tuesday shows that likely U.S. voters overwhelmingly support a $2 trillion stimulus package to boost the economy and provide relief for the tens of millions of people left jobless, hungry, and at risk of homelessness by the ongoing pandemic.
The New York Times/Siena College poll (pdf) shows that 72% of likely voters—including 56% of Republicans—support passage of a "new two trillion dollar stimulus package to extend increased unemployment insurance, send stimulus checks to most Americans, and provide financial support to state and local governments." Just 21% of respondents said they are opposed to such an agreement.
The survey results—which also show strong support for a public option in healthcare and a $2 trillion climate and infrastructure package—come as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin are working to iron out their differences on coronavirus relief legislation that broadly aligns with the plan outlined in the new poll.
As it stands, the compromise package would provide a $400-per-week federal boost to unemployment benefits, $300 billion in aid to state and local governments, and another round of $1,200 relief checks to most U.S. adults—as well as an additional $1,000 per child.
Most popular ideas in America currently:
1. Another stimulus (72-21%)
2. Public option healthcare (67-25%)
3. A $2T investment in renewable energy (66%-26%)
America is ready for bold climate action. We will not go back to business as usual. https://t.co/vk7WxZ4dNS
— Eric Holthaus (@EricHolthaus) October 20, 2020
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On Sunday, as Common Dreams reported, Pelosi set a Tuesday night deadline for the two sides to come to an agreement that would be able to pass both chambers of Congress before Election Day, which is just two weeks away. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Monday that the deadline "is certainly welcomed by us."
Meadows also signaled that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would be willing to allow a Senate floor vote on legislation backed by the White House and Pelosi, despite the senator's insistence last week that he would not let a $1.8 trillion or larger package advance in his chamber as many of his Republican colleagues balked at the idea of passing another spending bill.
In an interview on MSNBC Monday night shortly after speaking to Mnuchin, Pelosi said that while progress has been made in recent days, the two sides remain at odds on specific details of the legislative package, including coronavirus testing.
"At last, finally, they have come to the table and we're going to try to get something done," Pelosi said of White House negotiators. "I've tried to make a tomorrow a time where we would exchange all of our differences of opinion... Let's make a judgment. We may not like this or we may not like that, but let's see, on balance, if we can go forward."
Economists and progressives have warned that failing to approve additional coronavirus relief before the November election would be disastrous for the millions of people across the U.S. who have lost their jobs and seen their incomes plummet drastically due to the coronavirus crisis and resulting economic collapse, which is showing no sign of letting up.
"Millions of real people's lives are at stake," Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) told Common Dreams last week. "This is the time for us to act."