- President Joe Biden’s $US1.9 ($2) trillion COVID-19 relief package is close to becoming law.
- Republicans in Congress have blasted the bill, saying that it was not crafted in a bipartisan manner.
- But according to a recent poll from Morning Consult, 3-in-4 Americans support the relief deal.
- Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
As congressional Republicans blast President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 relief bill over a perceived lack of bipartisanship, three-in-four American voters support the bill, according to a new poll from Morning Consult and Politico.
The original “American Rescue Plan” COVID-19 relief bill passed in the House in late February in a tight 219-212 vote with zero Republicans voting in favor of the legislation. Later, following an all-night “vote-a-rama” in the Senate with discussions between both Republican and Democratic congressmen, the Senate ended in a 50-49 party-line vote with, again, zero Republicans voting for the bill, with Senate Republicans chastising the president and Democratic Party for a perceived lack of bipartisanship.
“Joe Biden gave an inauguration speech, we were all there, where he talked about unity and working together,” Sen. Ted Cruz said. “Where’s the unity and working together?”
But despite Biden’s presidential promises and the outcries of Conservative lawmakers, American voters appear to support the legislation in high numbers.
Conducted between March 6-8, the recent Morning Consult survey shows overwhelming support – 90% – among Democrats, 71% support with Independents, and even 59% with Republican voters.
After the recent vote-a-rama in the Senate, Republican legislators came out in droves against the “pork” provisions added to the bill, or the appropriation of certain funds toward specific districts that are unrelated to the main point of the legislation.
“This bill is not what you think,” Republican Rep. Byron Donalds wrote in a tweet. “Less than 10% of this bill is for COVID, and the rest is pork and bailouts.”
But Donalds and his peers are incorrect, according to a fact check from PolitiFact, as the nonprofit Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said that 85% of the bill’s funding goes directly toward COVD-19 relief projects. The group said that the remaining 15% of the bill “is spent on long-standing policy priorities that are not directly related to the current crisis.”
Despite the mistruths spread by congressional Republicans that the legislation is inflated, only a third of US citizens believe that the relief package is too costly, according to a recent survey from the Pew Research Center. The survey also noted that a quarter of Americans think the relief bill is actually spending too little money and should be increased.
As it currently stands, the American Rescue Plan bill will send $US1,400 ($1,817) in stimulus checks to people earning less than $US75,000 ($97,313) per year and couples earning less than $US150,000 ($194,627) will receive $US1,400 ($1,817) per person, including children. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that unlike Biden’s predecessor, President Donald Trump, the stimulus checks will not include a signature from the president.
“This is not about him,” Psaki said. “It’s about the American people getting relief.”
The final draft of the relief package also includes expanded unemployment insurance benefits until September 6, $US100 ($130) less than the original provision written in the House.
Biden and the Democrats attempted to increase the nation’s minimum wage from $US7.25 ($9) to $US15 ($19), but the Senate parliamentarian ruled that the wage increase could not be added to a reconciliation bill. Still, Sen. Bernie Sanders attempted to add an amendment to re-add the minimum wage increase to the legislation but was denied in a bipartisan 58-42 vote.
Members of the House are expected to vote to approve the package on Wednesday where unless changes are made to the bill once more, it will then move to Biden to sign into law.