Aug 25, 2021
As Democrats in the U.S. House and Senate prepare to write an infrastructure package following Tuesday's passage of a $3.5 trillion blueprint, new polling out Wednesday shows a majority of U.S. voters support bold proposals to invest in "human infrastructure" and the wellbeing of working people.
"Democrats, Independents, and working-class Republicans all over the country support our plan to finally invest in the long-neglected needs of working families."
--Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
A survey released Wednesday by USA Today and Suffolk University showed strong support for both the $550 billion of new spending included in a bipartisan Senate-approved infrastructure bill that the House is taking up in the coming weeks and a larger package which must ultimately go through the Senate's filibuster-proof budget reconciliation process.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans support the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which passed in the Senate earlier this month and includes $550 billion in funding for roads, bridges, and other upgrades but leaves out critical climate action measures and investments for working families.
Almost all of the Democratic voters who were polled supported the passage of the bipartisan bill, which progressives have said they will support as long as a reconciliation package containing bolder initiatives is also passed.
More than half of respondents--52%--said they support the passage of a reconciliation package, which Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has called "the most consequential piece of legislation for working people" and vulnerable Americans since the New Deal was passed in the 1930s.
\u201cPoll after poll shows that the overwhelmingly majority of voters support bold action.\n\nAmericans of all parties are feeling the costs of climate change daily and want bold investments in clean energy jobs to address them.\nhttps://t.co/JrJ8TLcdEx\u201d— Climate Power (@Climate Power) 1629916860
Progressive lawmakers are pushing for the legislation to include funding for child care subsidies, paid family and medical leave, a Civilian Climate Corps to help communities across the country mitigate the climate emergency, and tuition-free community college, among other provisions. Tax increases for wealthy Americans have been proposed to help pay for the investments.
Ninety percent of Democrats and nearly half of independent voters included in the survey supported the reconciliation proposal.
The poll was released as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) held her weekly press conference at which she appeared to temper expectations about what will be included in the package.
House and Senate committees are working together to write the bill, Pelosi said, and are expected to release their pieces of the legislation by September 15.
"There are those who would like to see the reconciliation be smaller and some of that from the outside had an impact on some of the debate," Pelosi said, adding that in regards to deficit spending, "we'll see what is possible."
Earlier this month, polls from Quinnipiac University and progressive think tank Data For Progress also showed strong support across the political spectrum for the infrastructure legislation.
As lawmakers work to negotiate the particulars of the larger reconciliation package, Sanders is planning to speak with voters about the proposal in Indiana and Iowa this week at town halls where he has said he expects to find strong support for bold investments in climate action, the care industry, and other human infrastructure.
"Democrats, Independents, and working-class Republicans all over the country support our plan to finally invest in the long-neglected needs of working families," the senator said last week when he announced the town halls. "I very much look forward to hearing from some of them."
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