Wide-Ranging Support for Infrastructure Plan Suggests Biden Could Go Bigger

The $2.25 trillion jobs and infrastructure plan being pushed by President Joe Biden has immense support across all political points of view, suggesting to some that the plan should be even bolder than it already is.

A new poll from Data for Progress conducted from April 2-5 found overwhelming support for a large infrastructure plan. Although Biden’s name isn’t stated in the wording of the poll, there is specific mention of projects that would be in the bill, including repairing roads, schools, water systems, making the internet more accessible, repairing the nation’s electrical grids, and more.

Just 21 percent of respondents said they were opposed to infrastructure plans that would be included in the bill (officially titled the American Rescue Plan Act), while 73 percent said they were either strongly or somewhat supportive of them. Endorsement of the plan transcended party lines, too, with a majority of Republican respondents (57 percent) and two-thirds of independents (67 percent) saying they backed the infrastructure improvements, joining with the 93 percent of Democrats in the poll who also said as much.

The poll also queried respondents specifically about investments in clean energy technologies, asking if they backed the proposed $400 billion being proposed for projects related to that goal by the Biden administration. Sixty-four percent of Americans overall say they support the idea, with 86 percent of Democratic respondents and 63 percent of independents also saying so.

More Republicans balked at that plan than supported it, with 48 percent saying they opposed it. However, a sizable number of Republicans, 42 percent, said they did support climate energy investments.

The findings indicate that Biden could have gone further with his infrastructure goals, particularly on addressing climate change issues.

“These numbers absolutely suggest Democrats can go bigger,” Ethan Winter, a senior analyst at Data for Progress, told Truthout, adding that his organization’s polling “shows that there’s a widespread willingness to spend more on a host of progressive priorities.”

Indeed, a number of progressive lawmakers in D.C. have tried to push the president in a more ambitious direction.

In a statement she made last week, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) noted that Biden had originally promised to commit $2 trillion in spending “over four years on climate-focused infrastructure alone.” Instead, Biden’s proposal “will invest half that amount — roughly $2 trillion over eight years,” Jayapal said.

“It makes little sense to narrow his previous ambition on infrastructure or compromise with the physical realities of climate change,” she added. “We have a limited window to get this done — we must seize our chance to build back better with economy wide investments that work for working families and communities of color.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), while generally supportive of the infrastructure bill, has also criticized it for not doing more on climate issues.

“The truth is, as everybody knows, the scientists tell us we have a handful of years in front of us in order to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel, or we’re going to face awful crises in terms of irreparable damage to our planet,” Sanders said in an interview on MSNBC this month. “And when we do that, we can create millions of good-paying jobs.”