- A Data for Progress poll found the majority of voters support using reconciliation to pass infrastructure.
- It also found that 68% of voters support reforming the corporate tax code to make it more fair.
- Democrats are increasingly calling on Biden to ditch GOP negotiations and go big on infrastructure.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Bipartisanship remains the focus of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure discussions, as he dedicates his time and efforts to negotiating the scope and size of his $4 trillion infrastructure proposal with Republicans. But a new poll found that voters don’t really care all that much about getting Republicans on board.
A poll released by Data for Progress and Invest in America last week found that 58% of voters support passing the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan together using reconciliation, as Democrats did with the $1.9 trillion stimulus package. It also found that the majority of voters support reforming the corporate tax code and prefer Biden’s original plan over the Republican’s smaller, $568 billion counter-proposal.
“Moreover, we find that a majority of likely voters prefer the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan over the smaller Republican counter-proposal,” the poll said. “Likely voters also want congressional Republicans to work with Biden to pass the American Jobs Plan, the American Families Plan, and the rest of Biden’s agenda, rather than try to simply obstruct the Democratic Party.”
Here are the main findings from the poll:
- 82% of Democrats and 32% of Republicans support passing infrastructure through reconciliation;
- 63% of voters support making corporate taxes fairer to fund infrastructure, with 72% of Democrats and 52% of Republicans supporting the measure;
- 51% of voters prefer Biden’s proposal to the Republican’s smaller alternative;
- And 55% of voters want Republicans to work with Biden to pass the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan.
The poll also asked voters how they would respond to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s recent quote that “100% of [his] focus is on stopping this new Biden administration,” with 55% of respondents disagreeing with McConnell and saying Republicans should work with Biden to pass his agenda.
On Friday, the White House offered a $1.7 trillion counter-proposal to Republicans, shaving $600 billion off Biden’s original $2.3 trillion proposal, in an attempt to appease the Republicans who argued the president’s original plan was too costly.
But Republicans are still unlikely to get on board with this plan, given that the $1.7 trillion offer cut down funding for physical infrastructure, which they prioritize. And an increasing number of Democrats align with the results of the poll and want Biden to spend less time on GOP negotiations, and more time on passing a big infrastructure package as quickly as possible.
Insider reported on May 18 that 59 House Democrats, led by Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, are urging Biden to ditch GOP negotiations and go even bigger on infrastructure through the $7 trillion in spending he campaigned on.
“We appreciate the White House’s interest in reaching across the aisle to seek Republican support for overwhelmingly popular infrastructure priorities…” they wrote in the letter. “While bipartisan support is welcome, the pursuit of Republican votes cannot come at the expense of limiting the scope of popular investments.”
But some Democrats are weary of using budget reconciliation. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, for example, told Politico that while using reconciliation to bypass Republicans would be “quicker and easier,” he said Democrats “don’t seem to have the votes for it,” likely referring to moderate Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia’s desire to have a bipartisan bill.
Nevertheless, the majority of voters and Democrats don’t want to spend any more time negotiating with Republicans and want to pass urgent infrastructure legislation as quickly as possible, with or without GOP votes.