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The Public vs The Republicans: Infrastructure

Late yesterday, the Washington Post published a Jeff Stein and Tony Romm deep dive into the infrastructure bill soon after Schumer moved towards cloture, a vote that will likely take place tomorrow. All of the polling shows the public broadly favors the bill. The poll that Data for Progress released via Axios yesterday found that 71% of likely voters, including a majority of likely Republican voters, support the bill. "The pollsters," reported Axios, "also asked participants how important it is for lawmakers to make additional investments to combat climate change and transition to clean energy, in addition to what is contained in the bipartisan agreement. This question, which tests the popularity of Democrats' plan to pass a bigger spending bill through a party-line vote [reconciliation], showed that 75% of voters consider such spending 'very important' or 'somewhat important,' including 55% of likely Republican voters.

Morning Consult's latest poll (this week) also found very strong across-the-board support for each individual aspect of the bill:

Earlier in the week Quinnipiac released a poll showing that 65% of Americans approve and just 28% disapprove of the bill and that the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill is nearly as popular: 62-32%.

Last month a separate poll of West Virginia voters had a message for Joe Manchin. 88% of Democrats, 55% of independents and 39% of Republicans support the reconciliation bill that he, Kyrsten Sinema and several other conservative Democrats plus the Republicans are trying to whittle down.

Stein and Romm reported that the bill, according to the CBO, will add $256 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years, something Republicans who opposed it all along are now using to undermine support for it. The reason for the costs is because the Republican negotiators refused to include any tax increases on corporate profits and wealthy Americans and also sandbagged increased funding for IRS enforcement. "Republicans who helped broker the deal, such as Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Susan Collins (R-ME)," wrote Stein and Romm "are expected to vote for the package despite the CBO score. But it is unclear how many other Republican senators would vote against the bill based on the CBO findings. 'A handful of Republicans have indicated that their support is contingent on the bill not adding to the deficit,' said Brian Riedl, a budget expert at the Manhattan Institute, a libertarian-leaning think tank, and a former Portman aide. 'A several-hundred-billion-dollar shortfall could legitimately imperil that support.' Riedl said increasing the deficit by about $100 billion would be 'survivable”'-- but not even paying for half the bill could prove a much more serious political problem."

And right on cue, Texas sleazeball Ted Cruz is attacking fellow Republicans who support the bill, sticking two his overall philosophy that anything that hurts America, is good for Ted Cruz and good for the right-wing fringe of the GOP. "I don’t think Republicans should be complicit in the ticking inflation bomb we’re facing," he said. "This bill is a mistake. It continues spending trillions of dollars we don’t have and it is the gateway drug to the Democrats’ reckless tax-and-spend bill next week, trying to spend another $3.5 trillion. I think it’s a mistake for the Republicans who are supporting this to play any part in the reckless tax and spending binge being pushed by the Democrats. We’re seeing inflation rising across the country. We’re seeing the cost of food going up, the cost of gas going up, the cost of lumber going up, the cost of homes going up."

And later, on the Senate floor, he spread more of his poison: "The Democrats in seven months are spending more than double what we spent to win World War II. This is reckless and it’s unprecedented. As Admiral Ackbar said in Star Wars, 'It’s a trap.' This is a trap."

Fellow insurrectionist Josh Hawley (R-MO)-- always the craven partisan hack, backed him up: "My own view is that this is Republicans supporting the Joe Biden agenda and it’s a very woke, leftist agenda. He’s keeping his promise, but that’s not an agenda I support and certainly Republican voters don’t support it. I think it’s going to be hard to explain to them why you were part of helping this get through."

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