Politics American voters overwhelmingly support the nontraditional measures in Biden's infrastructure bill
The fight to define infrastructure could change America
The meaning of the word "infrastructure" suddenly depends on your politics. © Evan Vucci/AP In this March 30, 2021, President Joe Biden speaks after signing the PPP Extension Act of 2021, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Biden wants $2 trillion to reengineer America's infrastructure and expects the nation's corporations to pay for it.
- A CNBC poll found that just 36% of voters support Biden's infrastructure plan as is.
- But most supported funding for nontraditional infrastructure measures, like caregiving and climate.
- The GOP argues that anything unrelated to physical infrastructure doesn't belong, but voters seem to disagree.
President Joe Biden unveiled his $2.3 trillion infrastructure package two weeks ago, and a CNBC survey found overwhelming support for it, but only parts of it. That's where it gets interesting.
'Child care is infrastructure': Democrats mocked for expanded definition beyond roads and bridges
Arguments from Democrats in favor of an expanded definition of infrastructure as it relates to President Joe Biden's $2 trillion American Jobs Plan, widely described as an infrastructure package, reached a new level on Wednesday. © Provided by Washington Examiner "Paid leave is infrastructure. Child care is infrastructure. Caregiving is infrastructure," New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said in a tweet. Paid leave is infrastructure.Child care is infrastructure.Caregiving is infrastructure.
According to a CNBCreleased on Thursday, just 36% of Americans supported Biden's infrastructure plan as he presented it - only three percentage points higher than those who oppose the plan, at 33%. This is about half the level of support that Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus plan received in similar polling in March.
Since Biden unveiled the plan, Republican lawmakers have attacked his definition of infrastructure, saying that a new bill should focus on physical infrastructure, like roads and brides, and should exclude measures related to the care economy like universal pre-K, as well as things like climate change initiatives. Senate Republicans are drafting a bill focused on roads and bridges,.
Biden’s Vision for ‘Care Infrastructure’ Needs More Socialism
Meeting the demand for high-quality elder care — while raising wages for those who provide it — would require radical measures.The origins of this semantic conflict aren’t hard to discern. Infrastructure is America’s original “big government” program and one of the few forms of public investment that the Republican Party deems legitimate. Bipartisan consensus has long held that the nation’s roads and bridges are in desperate need of renovation. Donald Trump’s presidency was composed almost entirely of misbegotten “infrastructure weeks.” And Joe Manchin, supreme ruler of the U.S.
The CNBC poll illustrates the catch for Republicans: the nontraditional aspects of Biden's plan are very popular. This could prove pivotal for its future, asdoesn't focus just on what Republican politicians favor, but on what Republican voters favor as well.
The poll noted that a "31% slice of the public say they don't know enough to venture an opinion, suggesting an opportunity for each political party to make headway."
Despite the majority of respondents opposing the president's plan, an overwhelming majority supported specific funding proposals within the plan.
Of the following four main findings, three are measures the GOP has argued for excluding from the bill:
- 87% of the public backed fixing roads and bridges;
- 82% of the public supported increasing pay for elderly caregivers;
- 78% of the public supported expanding high-speed broadband;
- And 70% of the public supported fixing the electrical grid and making buildings and homes more energy efficient.
The poll also found that 50% of respondents supported raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% to pay for the plan. When asked about corporate tax hikes generally, 46% said it was a bad idea because it would raise wages and cost jobs, while 43% said corporate tax hikes should be raised to pay for infrastructure because companies "do not pay their fair share."
Pete Buttigieg tells evangelicals: 'A vaccine is part of God's plan'
Pete Buttigieg told Christians Sunday that getting vaccinated against coronavirus is 'part of God's plan' as a new poll shows 30% of white evangelicals will definitely refuse to get inoculated. 'You have been outspoken on issues of your personal faith. Otherwise, I normally wouldn't bring this up,' CNN's Jake Tapper posed to Buttigieg.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in athat while Biden could have drafted a "serious, targeted infrastructure plan" that would have received bipartisan support, "the latest liberal wish-list the White House has decided to label 'infrastructure' is a major missed opportunity by this Administration."
And South Dakota's Republican governor, Kristi Noem,in early April that she was "shocked" and at how little of Biden's plan relates to infrastructure, although her comments indicated that she is unclear on what constitutes physical infrastructure.
"It goes into research and development, it goes into housing and pipes and different initiatives, green energy, and it's not really an honest conversation that we're having about what this proposal is," Noem said.
John Bolten, chief executive officer of Business Roundtable, which represents CEOs of the largest US companies, said in anwith Bloomberg TV that the organization wants Biden to of the package to mainly address roads and bridges and "leave the rest of the stuff for something else."
He added, though, that "more modern infrastructure" also needs investment, citing broadband as an example.
Biden's Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors Cecilia Rouseon April 3 that America needs an upgraded definition of infrastructure to meet "the needs of a 21st-century economy."
A New York Timesreleased on Thursday found that 64% of voters approve of Biden's infrastructure plan, 84% of voters support rebuilding roads and bridges, and 78% support expanded broadband.
Senate Republicans propose $568 billion infrastructure plan to counter Biden .
Republicans proposed eliminating spending on caregivers, combating climate change and manufacturing that go beyond physical infrastructure.Although their plan doesn't specify how to pay for the spending, Republicans suggested new user fees, resisting a corporate tax rate increase pushed by Biden and keeping former President Donald Trump's 2017 tax cuts intact.