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75 Percent of Democrats Want Party to Go Big on Social Spending, Climate Action

Democratic leaders recently floated a possible $2.5 trillion compromise reconciliation framework.

Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal talks to reporters outside the U.S. Capitol on September 30, 2021, in Washington, D.C., following a vote to keep the federal government open until early December.

As congressional Democrats wrangle over the cost and coverage of their flagship Build Back Better package, new polling published Wednesday shows that an overwhelming majority of Democratic voters favor a progressive bill that goes further to combat social inequality and the climate emergency over a scaled-down package.

According to the CNN poll conducted by SSRS, 75% of surveyed Democrats prefer Congress to “pass a bill that enacts all of the proposed social safety net and climate change policies,” with support for such a package rising to 84% among liberals and falling to two-thirds among moderates and conservatives in the party.

Only 20% of Democrats polled prefer a bill with fewer of those provisions, while just 4% completely oppose the proposed legislation.

Overall, 41% of survey respondents said they prefer Congress to pass a reconciliation bill that funds more robust social and climate policies to less expensive legislation containing fewer of those provisions. Thirty percent said they want a scaled-down version of the package, while 29% say they are against any bill at all. Among surveyed Republicans, 55% said they want the bill to die.

The new poll comes as Democratic lawmakers continued struggling to agree on the scale and scope of the reconciliation package.

HuffPost reported Thursday that Democratic leaders recently floated a possible $2.5 trillion compromise reconciliation framework in a bid to gain the support of right-wing Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), who oppose spending $3.5 trillion over 10 years.

The HuffPost report came on the heels of an Accountable.US analysis revealing that Manchin has received at least $1.5 million in campaign donations from businesses and trade groups leading a corporate lobbying blitz against the more ambitious $3.5 trillion proposal, which is already a compromise.

Meanwhile, progressives pushed back against efforts to further dilute the bill. On Wednesday, members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) urged their moderate and right-wing colleagues to eschew “complicated methods of means-testing that the wealthy and powerful will use to divide us” in favor of universal programs.

“The people delivered Democrats the House, Senate, and White House,” CPC Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) tweeted Thursday. “Now it’s time for us to deliver them paid leave, child care, climate action, lower healthcare costs, pre-k, community college, affordable housing, and so much more.”

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