In a week that is crucial for the passage of President Biden’s legislative agenda, the White House issued a memo today that highlights the fact that a solid majority of the American public supports the administration’s Build Back Better plan to create jobs, cut taxes for the middle class while making sure that billionaires and corporations pay their fair share, and lower costs for working families.
“As we enter the final phase of legislative negotiations over the President’s economic package – the evidence is overwhelming that the wind is at our backs and the public is eager for both of these packages to become law,” the White House memo declares.
Currently, the Biden administration is working to bring Democratic moderates and progressives together to overcome their differences and pass both the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package that contains much of the president’s social services and climate action agenda.
With progressives insisting that they will not agree to vote for the infrastructure bill until the reconciliation bill passes, and moderates concerned about the high price tag of the progressive proposals, there is a lot of work remaining to ensure that the legislation isn’t defeated or watered down to insignificance.
Still, President Biden seems confident that some form of the bills will be approved this week.
“I’m optimistic about this week. It’s going to take the better part of the week,” he told reporters at the White House last night.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has scheduled a vote for the bipartisan infrastructure package already approved by the Senate for this Thursday, a three-day delay from the original schedule.
The White House memo today is designed to pressure lawmakers who still have qualms about voting for the two high-ticket bills by providing polling information that proves the popularity of the legislative aims of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, the infrastructure bill, and Biden’s plan to raise taxes on high-income Americans and corporations.
According to a Fox News poll, 56 percent of registered voters are in favor of the reconciliation package, with 39 percent opposed and 5 percent unsure.
A Pew Research survey showed more uncertainty with only 49% in favor, but less opposition at 25%, and an equal percentage undecided.
Polls from Democratic-affiliated research firms, Navigator Research and Data for Progress, found a higher level of approval for the $3.5 trillion package at over 60%.
The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill also polled well with a majority of the public approving of its passage.
It was the Biden administration’s plan to pay for the expenditures that the bills authorize by raising taxes and increasing enforcement for the extremely wealthy and for corporations that was a slam dunk in the public arena, however, with 68% support for taxing billionaires and 62% favoring a rise in the corporate tax rate.
“By closing loopholes, cracking down on wealthy tax cheats, and making the tax code fairer, we can cut taxes for the middle class, invest in a strong, durable economy that works for everyone, and lower costs on essentials like health care, prescription drugs, and childcare for working families,” the White House memo reads. “And because President Biden’s plan is fully paid for, we can do this with a price tag of $0.”
That certainly seems like a no-lose deal for the vast majority of Americans.
Let’s reconvene at the end of the week to see how it all actually plays out and what surprises and obstacles appear along the way.
Original reporting by Morgan Chalfant at The Hill.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.