Spending on repairing bridges, highways, and major roads has 84% public support, according to the New York Times / SurveyMonkey survey. Funding for improvements to ports, waterways and airports as well as funding for the nationwide provision of high-speed broadband Internet is supported at 78%. Increased transit spending receives 67% support, which means more than four in ten Republicans support transit spending.
That survey did not include a question about Biden’s proposal to invest $ 400 billion in care for the elderly and others, but a recent Politico / Morning Consult plan found majority support, including Republican support, for this provision as well as for promoting the medical manufacturing. Replacing lead water lines, building and upgrading public schools, and upgrading veterans hospitals.
However, Congressional Republicans agree on their opposition, believing that they will really dwarf the Biden plan to raise corporate taxes to pay for them. The problem for them is that polls show voters support increasing corporate taxes in general and specifically for paying for this infrastructure plan.
Republicans also plan to try again the arguments they made against the American bailout plan, including the fact that Biden was not bipartisan enough. Which it cannot be because Republicans are under an obligation never to support anything that could empower Biden – even if it does so by strengthening the United States and its economy.
At a press conference with Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, Senator John Barrasso whined about BidensMy way or the Autobahn ”to overtake the infrastructure. Pro tip man: don’t use highway metaphors to back up your disapproval of highway spending – expenses voters want. But it’s the same old strategy we’ve always seen Republicans do. Republicans refuse to negotiate or compromise in good faith and then act outraged that the Democrats are trying to get things done anyway.
With a budget vote that only requires a simple Senate majority and an option to pass the American employment plan, the real problem for Biden and Democrats will be Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. While Biden plans to raise the corporate tax rate from the Republican-approved rate of 21% to 28%, halfway back to where it was before the 2017 Republican Tax Act, Manchin insists on 25%. Biden has indicated he’s open to compromising on the tax rate, even though 28% was already a compromise on that tax rate.
The American Jobs Plan is popular with voters. Huge chunks of it, including what Republicans in Congress are already calling “not really infrastructure”, are even more popular than the overall bill. Democrats must do everything possible to make this happen and to strengthen the employment economy and US infrastructure for decades to come.