35 percent say passing infrastructure bill should be top congressional priority: poll

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)
Greg Nash

Roughly 35 percent of Americans in a new Politico-Morning Consult poll, say they believe passing an infrastructure bill should be a top priority for members of Congress, lower than several other issues.

The study was conducted between Friday and Monday, shortly before President Biden ended negotiations with a key GOP senator as both sides failed to reach a deal. Biden has shifted talks to a bipartisan group of senators.

According to the poll, while over a third said infrastructure should be Congress’s top priority, another 31 percent said an infrastructure bill was “an important, but lower priority,” and 14 percent said it was “not too important.”

Democratic voters were more likely to list an infrastructure bill as a high priority, with roughly 49 percent of Democrats polled labeling it as being of top importance compared to 23 percent of GOP voters who said the same.

Several other issues rated as higher priorities for voters than infrastructure: 42 percent identified the federal budget deficit as the top priority, 41 percent said it was health care reform and 37 percent listed immigration.

Still, the highest priority issue among voters was stimulating economic growth to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, with 55 percent putting it in the top spot.

The survey of nearly 2,000 registered voters has an overall margin of error of 2 percentage points.

The poll comes a day after Biden cut off ongoing infrastructure talks with a GOP group led by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) after the two remained far from a deal despite weeks of negotiations. 

Now, the White House is looking to reach an agreement with a bipartisan group that includes Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

The senators have said that they aim to reach a proposal by the end of the week. 

Tester on Wednesday said tax increases were being taken off the table in the infrastructure negotiations, and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), another member of the bipartisan group, told reporters that Republicans won’t agree to tax hikes as part of a proposal. 

Biden’s initial infrastructure plan totaled more than $2.2 trillion, though the bipartisan group, which has not yet released an official number, is said to be looking at a proposal of $900 billion. 

Meanwhile, more progressive lawmakers would like to see Democrats move forward a reconciliation bill that wouldn’t need Republican votes to pass, with Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) arguing Wednesday that “Republicans are not going to do what needs to be done for working families.”

Tags biden administration Bill Cassidy Congress House infrastructure bill infrastructure negotiations Joe Biden Joe Manchin Jon Tester Kyrsten Sinema Lisa Murkowski Mitt Romney Morning Consult Politico Pramila Jayapal Rob Portman Senate Shelley Moore Capito White House

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