As Democrats move forward with President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue bill despite Republican calls to pare back the legislation, a new poll has found that more than two-thirds, or 68 percent, of Americans support the proposal, while only 24 percent oppose the measure.
The Quinnipiac University poll, taken from last Thursday to Monday, surveyed 1,075 adults and had a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.
The survey further revealed that the $1,400 direct payments to Americans are more popular than the overall proposal itself—with 78 percent of respondents supporting the stimulus checks, while 18 percent opposing them.
A recent Yahoo News/YouGov poll also saw similar results: “The majority of Biden’s proposals garner at least twice as much support as opposition,” the study said. “Nearly half are favored by more than 60 percent of Americans.”
The poll also discovered that 61 percent of respondents favor Biden’s push for a $15 per hour federal minimum wage.
On Wednesday, Biden, responding to Republican pressure, told House Democrats that he would be open to limiting eligibility for the direct payments, but he added that he would not cut the overall amount.
A group of Republican senators, who are wary of the size and scope of the direct payments after Congress approved a $900 billion bill in December, has already offered the president a $618 billion plan.
The Republicans’ pushback comes after a recent study that has suggested that not giving out any sort of payment to households making more than $75,000 a year would be the most economically prudent.
The analysis, conducted by nonpartisan, nonprofit Opportunity Insights, showed that families earning under about $75,000 generally spend the money quickly. But for households earning more than $78,000 (and singles earning more than $50,000), they are likely to spend just $45 of a $600 stimulus check over the first month. Scaled up to $1,400 payments, that would mean only $105 would be spent.
“Targeting the next round of stimulus payments toward lower-income households would save substantial resources that could be used to support other programs, with minimal impact on economic activity,” the study’s authors wrote.
The research also revealed that the total price tag to send out another round of checks to couples earning more than $75,000 and singles earning more than $50,000 would be $200 billion—of which $15 billion, or 7.5 percent, would be spent.
Others have brought up the idea of using stimulus checks as pay incentives to get Americans vaccinated so that the country reaches herd immunity more quickly. For example, Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) recently admitted that he would be willing to green-light $1,400 stimulus checks to people who receive the shot.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.