While Congress is still struggling to unite on a stimulus package, support for the implementation of a stimulus package has only grown: 81 percent of likely voters want lawmakers to do another before the end, according to a new poll by Vox and Data for Progress Bill approved of the year. That's more than 67 percent of those polled asking Congress to approve further incentives ahead of the elections in a Vox / DFP poll in October.
It is currently unclear whether the legislature will reach an agreement this month. Although both Republicans and Democrats support several key measures, including funding schools, distributing vaccines, and helping small businesses, there are still significant delays in including liability protection measures, as well as state and local funding.
Meanwhile, Americans continue to control the severe economic fallout from the pandemic. In the Vox / DFP survey, one in five respondents said they have applied for unemployment insurance since the pandemic began, around three in ten have applied for or gone to a SNAP food bank, and one in five is struggling with at least one Rent or mortgage payment. This poll was conducted December 4-6 with 1,080 likely voters and has a 3 point margin of error.
Broader economic data also reflects an urgent need for relief. According to the latest figures from the Ministry of Labor, around 19 million people are currently receiving unemployment insurance. And an analysis by the Aspen Institute shows that nearly 40 million people could be at risk of eviction if lawmakers or federal agencies don't take additional action in the coming weeks.
Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have announced that they want to approve a new stimulus plan before the end of the year. As both this survey and many other measures show, the stakes are too high for them to be unable to enforce.
Many people would like another stimulus check – and are far less concerned about liability protection
The main stimulus determination that voters will most likely be interested in is another round of stimulus checks: 75 percent of respondents said this is what they want to prioritize in another package.
Food aid, expanded unemployment insurance, money for coronavirus tests, and small business support were other areas that were highlighted by respondents. At least half of the respondents said that these provisions are important to them.
Corporate liability protection – something that was a key issue and ongoing sticking point in the negotiations for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – was not seen as essential, however. Only 23 percent of people said this was a priority for them. State and local subsidies, which were another point of contention, were also less popular, although they received slightly more support. 31 percent of respondents named it as a priority.
Legislators are still at a dead end, what's next: The White House has tabled a $ 916 billion proposal that the Democrats rejected for failing to provide funding for improved unemployment insurance, and Republican leaders have shied away from endorsing a bipartisan Senate plan worth $ 908 billion.
Who gets to blame?
The question of who exactly is responsible for the impasse is interesting.
The Vox / DFP poll found that both parties are responsible for the stimulus delays, although a slightly higher proportion of people see the Democrats as guilty. This may come as a surprise to Democrats, who have been pushing for more aid since the spring. Since March, the House Democrats have passed two versions of the HEROES law that were not considered at all in the upper chamber. The Senate Republicans have since tried to push their own, tighter bills, which the Democrats have spoken out against.
However, pressure on both parties has increased in recent months, especially as talks between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and White House Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin fell apart this fall. Pelosi turned down a $ 1.8 trillion offer from Mnuchin in October over disagreements over how to proceed on several provisions, including state and local assistance and unemployment insurance. McConnell had signaled at the time that he wasn't interested in putting such a large package on the floor either.
In the latest Vox / DFP poll, 31 percent of likely voters believe Republicans are to blame for the lack of incentives, while 38 percent believe Democrats are responsible. Thirty-two percent of people said they saw Senate Republicans, led by McConnell, as specifically responsible for the delays, while 43 percent said the same thing about House Democrats, led by Pelosi.
Congress is expected to leave in just over a week for the year, but House lawmakers have insisted they could keep working after Christmas if they couldn't reach an agreement by then. "It's a deal that has to come together. We have no choice now. This is one of the things that has to be done," Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said earlier.
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