ICYMI: VOTERS SUPPORT THE BUILD BACK BETTER PLAN

ASCE: United States Must Invest $5.9 Trillion In Roads, Airports, Clean Water, and Schools Over The Next 10 Years

According to a new poll from Invest in America and Data For Progress, 69% of voters, including 65% of Independents and 50% of Republicans, support a multi-trillion dollar Build Back Better plan to invest in American infrastructure.

  • More than 60% of voters support every potential provision of a proposed $4 trillion Build Back Better Plan in areas including repairing roads, bridges, drinking water systems and public transportation, and investing in clean energy.
  • 52% of voters believe infrastructure investments will drive economic growth, create good-paying jobs, and pay for itself in the long run.
  • 53% of voters believe Republicans should work with, rather than obstruct, President Biden to pass the Build Back Better plan.
Data For Progress: Voters Support The Build Back Better Plan

Introduction
With the passage of the American Rescue Plan, lawmakers are now looking to the Build Back Better plan, a proposed multi-trillion dollar investment in American infrastructure with the goal of jumpstarting the economy, combating climate change, and reducing economic inequality.

In a mid-March survey of likely voters nationally, Invest in America and Data for Progress sought to measure attitudes towards the Build Back Better plan. We find that voters overwhelmingly support a multi-trillion dollar investment in infrastructure and want to see Republicans work with President Biden to pass the plan, rather than try to obstruct his agenda. 

A multi-trillion dollar Build Back Better plan is broadly popular 

Looking more broadly, our testing found that voters are highly enthusiastic about a Build Back Better plan that would invest $4 trillion in infrastructure: Among all likely voters it is supported by a margin of 47-points (69 percent support, 22 percent oppose). In addition, support for this proposal is bipartisan — Democrats, Independents, and Republicans back it by margins of 83-points, 45-points, and eight-points, respectively. 

Voters think now is the time for an investment in American infrastructure

We find that by a 22-percentage-point margin, voters support moving ahead with an additional planned investment in American infrastructure, even after being reminded that the American Rescue Plan was just passed. Looking at responses broken out by self-identified partisanship, we find that Democrats and Independents want to move ahead with this next phase of investments by margins of 61-points and 19-points respectively. A little more than a third (35 percent) of Republicans agree that now is the time to invest in infrastructure.

Voters overwhelmingly back the components of the Build Back Better plan

We also tested support for a number of proposed individual components of the Build Back Better plan. Across the board, likely voters overwhelmingly support the plan’s elements. This includes repairing roads and bridges (+80 points), investing in American manufacturing (+78 points), and repairing drinking water systems (+77 points). 

Voters are persuaded by the argument that Build Back Better will pay for itself by creating economic growth

We also measured likely voters’ attitudes toward whether the Build Back Better plan should be paid for through increasing the national debt. We posed two arguments against one another:  Specifically, likely voters were asked whether the United States should take on debt in the short term to pay for this plan or whether the United States should not take on more debt. We find that by a margin of 13-points, likely voters are more persuaded by the deficit financing argument: “Just like households sometimes take on debt to pay for a new home or education, the federal government should take on new debt to pay for this infrastructure investment.”

Voters prefer to finance Build Back Better by taxing the rich, not cuts to social services

If the Build Back Better plan does include pay-fors, our polling finds likely voters want this plan to be financed by taxing the wealthiest Americans and corporations. By a 35-point margin, we find likely voters prefer to pay for the plan by increasing taxes, not cutting spending on social programs. Crucially, Independents prefer raising taxes by a 25-point margin. 

Voters want Republicans to work with President Biden on infrastructure rather than obstruct him

We also asked likely voters how Republicans in Congress should respond to the Build Back Better plan. By a 14-point margin, likely voters want to see Republicans work with President Biden to pass the plan, instead of working as a check on the Biden administration. Critically, a plurality of Independents (45 percent) want Republicans to work with, rather than try to oppose Biden on this issue. 

Conclusion

As the Biden administration and congressional Democrats move from the American Rescue Plan to the next phase of their legislative agenda, Invest in America and Data for Progress find that likely voters are firmly in support of more federal spending. 

Toplines to this polling can be found here.

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