Majority of US Voters Favor $3.5 Trillion Build Back Better Bill: Poll

Progressive activists urge President Joe Biden not to compromise on election promises regarding the climate emergency, healthcare, jobs, and social justice outside the White House on May 24, 2021. (Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Green New Deal Network)

Majority of US Voters Favor $3.5 Trillion Build Back Better Bill: Poll

The strong overall support for the landmark package stands in stark contrast with opposition from Republicans and right-wing Democrats.

Underscoring what critics call the out-of-touch nature of Republican and right-wing Democrats' opposition to the Build Back Better bill supported by the Biden administration and progressive U.S. lawmakers, new polling published Wednesday confirmed that a majority of likely American voters favor the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package.

The Invest in America and Data for Progress survey (pdf) of 1,201 likely U.S. voters, conducted from August 27 to August 30, found that 61% of all respondents supported the $3.5 trillion spending proposal. Among Democratic voters, support for the measure soared to 83%, while 58% of Indpendent and third-party voters, and 40% of Republicans, backed the bill.

Some of the bill's individual provisions saw even higher support among survey respondents, including long-term care (80%), power grid modernization (74%), and updating K-12 schools (71%). Even the bill's more controversial components enjoyed majority support, including a pathway to citizenship for migrants (61%) and free community college (59%).

While Republicans and right-wing Democrats including Sens. Joe Manchin (W-Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) have balked at the bill's $3.5 trillion price tag, the survey found that a majority of all queried voters do not want to cut provisions from the proposed budget. For example, 75% want long-term care to remain in the package, while 69% and 64% respectively say that power grid modernization and updating K-12 schools should not be removed.

Surveyed voters expressed even stronger support for the proposed $550 billion bipartisan Infrastructure and Jobs Act, which would invest in the nation's roads, bridges, railways, broadband internet, and environmental resiliency. Sixty-nine percent of all likely voters--including 81% of Democrats, 68% of Independents and third-party supporters, and 55% of Republicans--back the proposed legislation.

Furthermore, 60% of survey respondents said they agree with the statement that "the wealthy and large corporations currently aren't paying their fair share" of taxes, and that "to fund investments in long-term care for seniors, healthcare, and clean energy, we should raise taxes."

The U.S. Senate approved the $3.5 trillion budget blueprint without a single Republican vote on August 11, while the House passed the measure along party lines nearly two weeks later. As congressional Democrats advance the process of translating the proposal into legislative text, they face an aggressive corporate lobbying campaign to slash or weaken crucial provisions.

Earlier this summer, Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)--who played a key role in drafting the bill and has held a pair of Midwestern town halls to promote it--called lobbying efforts against the proposal a "sign of the greed that pervades corporate America."

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