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A new debate is brewing over President Joe Biden’s infrastructure package: What, exactly, is infrastructure?
According to the $2 trillion plan Biden unveiled this week, infrastructure encompasses everything from broadband access to childcare to care workers. Republicans say that’s a far cry from rebuilding roads and bridges.
“Our nation could use a serious, targeted infrastructure plan. There would be bipartisan support for a smart proposal,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday. “Unfortunately, the latest liberal wish-list the White House has decided to label ‘infrastructure’ is a major missed opportunity by this Administration.”
The next day, McConnell indicated that the current infrastructure package likely won’t get any GOP votes, at least in the Senate. His rhetoric around a sweeping view of infrastructure has been echoed by fellow conservatives like Kristi Noem, the governor of South Dakota, who said in a Fox News interview that the package went into things like pipes, housing, and research — none of which she considers infrastructure.
As The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent notes in an opinion column, placing research and development outside of the scope of infrastructure is a departure from previous GOP thinking. Sargent also notes that with Republicans and Democrats increasingly segregated by region, different definitions of infrastructure are taking on a regional divide as well. Biden’s infrastructure proposals have a decidedly more urban focus, and of course, Democrats tend to live in cities and dense suburbs.
But while Republican politicians have made clear how they’d like to define infrastructure, what do actual Republican voters think?
What the polling shows about Republican voters’ support for Biden’s infrastructure proposal
A Morning Consult/Politico poll delved into how 2,043 respondents felt about different prospective aspects of the two-pronged infrastructure package, asking: “To what extent do you support or oppose funding for the following being included in the infrastructure plan being developed by the Biden administration?”
The poll found more than half of Republican voters either strongly or somewhat support funding for increased housing-options for low-income Americans (53%), and almost half do for an extension of the expanded child tax credit (49%). A significant minority do for the widespread availability of electric-vehicle charging stations (40%) and free community college (38%), while research on climate change and universal pre-K accrued the support of more than a third (37% and 36%, respectively).
The proposals that got more tepid support were the extension of Affordable Care Act subsidies (34%) …read more
Source:: Business Insider