Poll shows broad support for bipartisan infrastructure bill

Staffers wheel a copy of the bipartisan infrastructure legislation towards the suite of Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Monday, August 2, 2021.
Greg Nash

Roughly 7 in 10 voters support the bipartisan infrastructure package that would inject $1.2 trillion into revamping the nation’s roads, bridges and public transit, among other things, according to a new Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey. 

Seventy-two percent of those surveyed say they back the bipartisan agreement, which was formally introduced in the Senate on Sunday after months of political and legislative wrangling. Another 28 percent say they are opposed to the sweeping legislation, the poll found. 

Sixty-eight percent say that the infrastructure package should get a simple up or down vote in Congress. Another 32 percent believe that the legislation should be tied to the larger $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill that would expand the social safety net and provide funds to curb climate change. 

“The bipartisan infrastructure plan has bipartisan support with the American public,” Mark Penn, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey, said. “As long as it’s about physical infrastructure, this plan gets a big green light from the voters who reject efforts to tie it to larger spending and tax plans.”

While most voters don’t support the idea of passing the infrastructure and budget measure together, they’re largely split on the $3.5 trillion spending bill, with 51 percent opposed to it and 49 percent in favor, according to the poll.

A slight majority  54 percent  say the spending measure shouldn’t pass through Congress without significant bipartisan support. 

At the same time, a majority of voters are concerned about the sheer size of the proposals. Together, the infrastructure bill and the spending plan would run the country $4.7 trillion  a price tag that 55 percent of voters say is too much. Forty-five percent favor such spending. 

Most voters  60 percent  believe that it’s at least somewhat likely that Congress passes an infrastructure bill this summer, signaling that Americans are largely optimistic that lawmakers will be able to come together on a deal. 

The infrastructure package in its current form would not raise taxes. Still, voters are largely wary of any sort of tax increase at the moment, with 64 percent of respondents opposing a federal tax hike and 36 percent favoring one. When it comes to income taxes, 70 percent oppose an increase, according to the poll.  

The Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey of 1,788 registered voters was conducted from July 28 to 29. It is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and The Harris Poll.

Full poll results will be posted online later this week. Respondents are recruited via voter panel providers on a randomized basis and their responses are then weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative poll conducted online, it does not report a probability confidence interval.

Tags Budget Charles Schumer Government spending Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll Infrastructure Mark Penn reconciliation bill
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