Politics

Analysis: Rescue plan gains support as Biden’s first 100 days nears an end

The American Rescue plan brings more spending from Biden, and more approval from the ranks.

President Joe Biden announced he will spend big again to “rebuild the backbone” of the country, and a majority of Americans are here for it, new polls show.

Biden is coasting into the final quarter of his first 100 days with an approval rating of 57%. This support may be buoyed by his success coming off the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan last month, which put $1400 checks into qualifying households.

Now, a recent Morning Consult/Politico poll published in the Washington Post found that registered voters broadly support Biden’s new American Jobs Plan, a $2 trillion jobs and infrastructure bill that if passed, would overhaul the country’s roads and bridges and create millions of jobs.

There is something for everyone in Biden’s ambitious plan. It is projected to create 18 million jobs over four years, and includes not just cement and steel girders, but significant support for manufacturing and small business, equity in broadband access and $400 billion over eight years for home-based care for the elderly and people with disabilities.

The poll also revealed that voters are willing to accept a tax hike to pay for the massive bill, as long as it hits the wealthy. 57% of voters said they’d be more likely to support Biden’s infrastructure plan if it were funded by tax increases on those making over $400,000 the data showed, while 47% of voters said they’d be more likely to support the $2 trillion proposal if it were funded by increases to the corporate tax rate.

70% of those polled also expressed support for a plan to increase housing options for low-income families, including 83% of Democrats and 53% of Republicans.

Biden has touted the massive spending bill as the largest federal jobs investment since World War II. With enough for almost everyone to find favor with, the bill must now find the sweet spot between both chambers of Congress for approval. The bill is expected to pass the House, but meet resistance in the Senate. Democrats plan to push for a vote by July 4, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

To pass in the Senate, 10 Republicans would need to side with Democrats. With that scenario unlikely, Congress could use the same budget reconciliation process used to pass Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

Normally used only once in a fiscal year, reconciliation is a special procedure used to bypass normal Senate procedural rules. While most bills in the Senate require only a simple majority to pass – 50 Senators and the Vice President, for example – 60 votes are required to end debate on an issue and to proceed with a vote.

The Senate parliamentarian recently indicated a revised budget resolution might allow Democrats a means to halt endless debate (the much-discussed “filibuster”) and pass the massive jobs plan well before October 1, the start of the new fiscal cycle.