WASHINGTON – Americans would rather have stimulus checks in hand quickly than see bipartisan support for President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 legislation, according to a new poll from Monmouth University.
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More than two-thirds of Americans (68%) said that $1,400 stimulus checks should remain in the stimulus package even if it meant the bill had no support from the opposite party. Democrats have proposed a $1.9 trillion relief package that includes $1,400 stimulus checks; some Republicans have complained that that amount for checks, and the total cost of the bill, are too large
However, 53% of Republicans polled, agreed that $1,400 direct payments should be left untouched in the bill. Abou two-thirds (65%) of independents and 85% of Democrats agreed.
Overall, 53% of Americans said $1,400 checks to the public are about the correct amount; 28% of the public would like to see larger payments issued, while 14% think the amount should be reduced.
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Another 53% of Americans support raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, a proposal Democrats initially included in the $1.9 trillion stimulus package but which will now likely be struck due to Senate legislative rules. But 45% of the public are opposed to raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour.
While still above water, President Joe Biden’s approval rating dipped to 51% in the poll, which had found 54% of the public supporting his first days in office in January. His disapproval rate has shot up, however, sitting at 42% in the recent poll, up from 30% in January.
“It’s probably not a surprise that Biden’s honeymoon period has closed quickly. He does maintain a net positive rating, but the COVID stimulus package will be the first significant test of how stable that support is,” Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a news release.
Congress’s approval rating also dipped from 35% in January to 30% at the beginning of March.
Republicans critical of the stimulus bill have claimed that the proposal would disproportionately aid Democratic-leaning states and claimed the bill would have some effect on when states and local governments could reopen their economies. According to Monmouth, the public is not receptive to the claims; 53% of Americans do not believe that the stimulus package will have any effect on when states reopen.
The poll also surveyed public opinion on another economic proposal in the news: student debt relief. While the upcoming stimulus package does not include a provision that would cancel student debt, the poll found that 61% of Americans support canceling up to $10,000 in college debt for anyone with outstanding federal loans. Thirty-seven percent opposed such a measure.