Progressive poll: Majority supports passing Biden agenda through reconciliation
A majority of likely voters in a new poll supports Democrats passing President Biden’s $4 trillion agenda using the budget reconciliation process without needing Republican support, according to new data from a progressive polling firm obtained by The Hill.
The poll, conducted by the progressive think tank and polling firm Data for Progress for the group Invest in America, found that 62 percent of those surveyed somewhat or strongly support passing Biden’s American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan together using budget reconciliation.
There are considerable differences across party lines, with 86 percent of Democrats supporting the use of the reconciliation process, 59 percent of Independents supporting it and only 36 percent of Republicans supporting it.
The poll also found that majorities support proposed investments in Biden’s original jobs package that were not included in the bipartisan compromise unveiled last week, such as billions in funding for expanding access to long-term care and modernizing schools and community colleges.
Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed said they would be somewhat or much more likely to support a lawmaker who votes to spend $400 billion on long-term care for seniors and people with disabilities “even if it’s passed on a partisan basis.”
The poll also found that 55 percent of respondents would be less likely to support a lawmaker who blocks the passage of a bill including $400 billion for long-term care in order to pass a bipartisan infrastructure package.
The White House is trying to drum up support for the $1.2 trillion bipartisan deal focusing on physical infrastructure, like roads and bridges, that Biden and a group of bipartisan senators agreed to last week.
However, progressives have been wary of the infrastructure deal because it leaves out key priorities and Democratic leaders in Congress plan to move a bipartisan bill and a larger reconciliation bill together in order to try to get Biden’s agenda passed in full.
Biden last week said he wouldn’t sign an infrastructure bill unless it came to his desk with a reconciliation package, but he backed off that statement after it prompted a chorus of criticism from Republicans and imperiled the bipartisan bill.
Biden promised to unite the country and work across the aisle during his campaign and a bipartisan bill would represent a key accomplishment if he is able to usher it across the finish line. Biden in a speech in Wisconsin on Tuesday described the deal as a “signal to ourselves and to the world that American democracy can come through and deliver for all our people.”
Zac Petkanas, a Democratic strategist and senior advisor for Invest in America Action, a group advocating for a robust infrastructure bill, said that the new poll shows the importance of Democrats advancing Biden’s agenda in its entirety, no matter what process they use to do so.
“What is very clear from the data is that people don’t care about the process – what comes first, what comes second, that doesn’t matter. What matters is creating jobs,” Petkanas said in an interview.
“Democrats don’t want to go into the midterms saying we could have passed a jobs investment that put millions of people back to work but we only ended up getting a quarter of the agenda done,” he said.
The survey also found that a majority – 58 percent – believe that the U.S. should invest more money to spur job creation and boost the economy after the coronavirus pandemic, compared with 33 percent who said the U.S. should wait to invest over concerns about the economy overheating and inflation.
The online survey of 1,183 likely voters nationally was conducted between June 25 and June 28 and has a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.