- Republicans are pushing to reduce the size and scope of Biden’s $ 4 trillion infrastructure plan.
- A new poll released on Wednesday found that the Biden plans are gaining 67% support from voters.
- A bipartisan framework will likely limit its focus to physical infrastructure.
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Republicans maintain their opposition to President Joe Biden’s proposed spending to aggressively combat climate change, along with the social investments already on the table.
You have long resisted expanding the definition of infrastructure beyond physical elements such as roads, bridges and highways. An emerging $ 1 trillion infrastructure framework, drafted by a bipartisan Senate gang of 10 centrists, is poised to narrow its focus to that part of the economy.
“There are some constructive principles to which it adheres, like the fact that it is limited to real physical infrastructure – that’s good,” Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, a senior Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, said in an interview. He added that he was still undecided about the measure.
“Our members are interested in the core infrastructure and hard infrastructure, but not all of the social issues that come with their broader proposal,” South Dakota Senator John Thune, a member of the GOP leadership, told reporters.
But there appears to be strong public support for expansive federal spending beyond these areas that led to a pandemic that devastated the economy for over a year. A new survey from Monmouth University published Wednesday stated that about two-thirds of the public supported Biden’s comprehensive infrastructure plans.
—Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) June 16, 2021
Another current survey by Morning Consult showed that Biden’s infrastructure plans have a slight advantage over the Republican proposal – 52% versus 48%.
The Democrats are pushing for much larger infrastructure spending that spill over into almost every sector of the economy. Biden’s plan includes social initiatives like a universal pre-K and toll-free community college, as well as cash payments to parents. The Monmouth poll found that 61% support these provisions.
The rival views of what constitutes infrastructure and how to pay for it has ruined an earlier series of talks between Biden and the Senate Republicans. Still, negotiations continue between a ten-man Senate gang that includes Republicans like Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Democrats like Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
“We are still talking to colleagues to see if they agree. And if not, how do we get them there and if so, where do we go from here,” said Cassidy on Wednesday.
Nevertheless, the proposal faces great opportunities in the equally divided chamber. At least three Senate Democrats have already dismissed it as insufficient to tackle climate change. Republican negotiators say it will include funding for electric vehicle charging points and climate resistance to bolster the country’s ability to endure storms and floods.