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LIU poll: Americans back infrastructure deal, less sure it will boost economy

An LIU poll found that 62% of Americans

An LIU poll found that 62% of Americans back rebuilding roads and bridges and 59% favor transit and rail projects. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

A slight majority of Americans believe the $1.3 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package will create jobs and benefit U.S. workers, according to a new Long Island University poll.

But less than half of those surveyed — 48% — believe the bill will boost economic growth, with increased skepticism coming from women in the South and West who earn less than $100,000 annually, the data shows.

LIU's Steven S. Hornstein Center for Policy, Polling and Analysis conducted the poll Aug. 11 and 12 among 1,539 adults. It found that 55% of Americans believe the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will provide employment and other benefits while 24% disagreed, and 21% said they were unsure.

The bill, which passed the Senate last week with support from 19 Republicans, must now clear the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, where its future remains unclear.

The legislation includes $550 billion in new federal spending above what Congress intended to allocate for infrastructure over the next eight years. But some components of the legislation are more popular than others, the poll found.

Seven of 10 Americans support increased funding for clean drinking water while 62% back projects to rebuild roads and bridges, and 59% favor transit and rail projects. Support for environmental remedies, meanwhile, stands at 55%, while 49% back funding for electric vehicles, the poll showed.

"Most respondents ranked their greatest needs as clean drinking water and transportation infrastructure related to roads, bridges, airports and railroads," said Andy Person, chief of strategy and director of the Hornstein Center. "This suggests that most respondents see these issues as more pressing to their daily lives than environmental remediation and electric vehicle infrastructure."

The bill's high price tag caused alarm for 41% of those surveyed who contend the growing deficit from infrastructure spending would cause an economic downturn. Another 29% disagreed while the remaining 30% were unsure, the poll found.

Americans also appear divided about President Joe Biden's pledge to raise taxes only on those making more than $400,000. Forty-one percent said Biden would keep his promise while 37% expect a tax hit and 22% were unsure.

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