Progressive poll finds support for Democrats' $3.5 trillion spending plan

Progressive poll finds support for Democrats' $3.5 trillion spending plan
© Greg Nash

A majority of likely voters in a new poll obtained exclusively by The Hill supports Congress passing a $3.5 trillion spending bill that includes Democratic priorities, like universal prekindergarten and extending the child tax credit expansion, through reconciliation.

The poll, which was conducted by progressive think tank and polling firm Data for Progress for the group Invest in America, found that 66 percent of likely voters support Congress passing “a $3.5 trillion investment plan” that would include funding to improve long-term care for seniors, expand Medicare benefits, expand pre-K, modernize the electric grid and extend the child tax credit expansion through reconciliation, while 26 percent oppose the bill. Eight-five percent of Democrats and 60 percent of independents said they support the measure.

A sizable percentage of Republican respondents — 47 percent — said they support the measure, while 44 percent oppose it, a gap that is within the poll’s margin of error. This is despite efforts by Republican lawmakers to brand the $3.5 trillion plan in negative terms.

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Other surveys have found similar support for the $3.5 trillion plan, but less backing among Republican voters. For example, a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday found that 62 percent of U.S. adults support a $3.5 trillion spending bill, including 27 percent of Republicans.

The Data for Progress poll also found strong support among Democrats and independents for specific previsions that are expected to be included in the reconciliation package, like universal pre-K and free community college tuition. Some of the provisions also garnered support from Republicans, including modernizing the electric grid, improving long-term care for seniors and lowering the Medicare eligibility from age 65 to 60.

Republicans, however, oppose other items that Democrats are trying to include in the package, including a provision providing a pathway to citizenship for many immigrants and one that would create a Civilian Climate Corps.

Additionally, the poll found that majorities support various provisions that could be used to pay for the massive package. Sixty-four percent support raising the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent. Sixty-seven percent of respondents support raising income taxes on those making more than $400,000 including a plurality of Republicans (49 percent). And an identical percentage also supports raising the capital gains tax to pay for the package, including a plurality of Republicans (49 percent).

According to the poll, there is robust public support for the bipartisan infrastructure deal, with 65 percent supporting it, including 83 percent of Democrats, 62 percent of independents, and 46 percent of Republicans. Forty-one percent of Republican respondents said they oppose the infrastructure deal.

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The poll of 1,254 likely voters, which was conducted between July 30 and Aug. 2, has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Senators are looking to wrap up work on a bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, which includes $550 billion in new spending on physical infrastructure projects, as soon as this coming weekend. The measure is expected to pass with enough support from Republicans to overcome the legislative filibuster, representing a major bipartisan win for President BidenJoe BidenTrump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race On The Money: Democrats get to the hard part Health Care — GOP attorneys general warn of legal battle over Biden's vaccine mandate MORE.

After the Senate completes work on the infrastructure bill, senators are expected to advance a budget resolution to set up the $3.5 trillion package. Both measures will need to pass the House. Biden will need every Democratic senator and virtually every Democrat in the House to support the $3.5 trillion plan for it to pass without GOP support through reconciliation.

While as many as 20 Republicans senators could vote in favor of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, GOP lawmakers have been united in opposition to the $3.5 trillion package, trying to brand it as a “reckless” taxing and spending effort that could further contribute to inflation.

The poll conducted by Data for Progress found, however, that 57 percent of voters believe the U.S. “should invest more to create new jobs and economic growth after the pandemic,” while 33 percent said, alternatively, that the U.S. “should wait to invest more because we don’t want the economy to overheat, potentially creating inflation.”