Fox News poll shows majority back Biden on guns, protecting Social Security and Medicare
Republicans voted against an assault weapons ban and have advocated for safety net cuts.
A new poll released by Fox News shows that a majority of people support President Joe Biden’s positions on enforcing gun safety measures and protecting the Social Security and Medicare programs.
The poll, conducted for the conservative outlet from March 24 to 27, asked voters about their overall approval of Biden and to list which national issues they were most concerned about.
Seventy-four percent of those who responded to the poll said they support Biden’s recent executive order intended to increase background checks on gun purchasers, and 71% said they believe continuing to fund Social Security and Medicare is more important than reducing the budget deficit.
The executive order Biden signed on March 14 directed the U.S. attorney general’s office to ensure firearms sellers are in compliance with requirements that they process sales through the National Instant Background Check System, which determines legal eligibility to own a firearm. The order also instructed members of the Cabinet to promote “red flag” gun laws through partnerships with local law enforcement, health care providers, educators and others. It instructed the Federal Trade Commission to produce a report examining the marketing of guns, particularly to minors.
Biden has repeatedly called on Congress to pass an assault weapons ban. He recently reiterated the call following the March 27 mass shooting at a Nashville, Tennessee, school that killed six, including three children.
Congress passed an assault weapons ban in 1994, but it died in 2004 after it failed to reauthorize it. A 2019 study published by the New York University School of Medicine found that the number of mass shootings had decreased while the ban was in effect and had increased significantly after it expired.
Congressional Republicans oppose a ban. In July 2022, all but two House Republicans voted against legislation that would have reinstated the ban.
Republican lawmakers have expressed support for restricting access to Medicare and Social Security or eliminating the programs entirely, which respondents to Fox News’ poll overwhelmingly opposed.
They have not offered a unified budget proposal containing recommendations for addressing Social Security and Medicare, but coalitions within the party and individual members of Congress have backed cuts to funding for the programs.
The conservative Republican Study Committee counts as its members 172 House Republicans. Last year, the committee released a 2023 budget proposal titled “Blueprint to Save America” that called for the retirement age to be gradually increased.
Individual Republicans have expressed support for cuts and changes that would limit eligibility for benefits under the entitlement programs.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) said the consistent funding of the programs should be disrupted and subjected to a vote as discretionary spending each year. Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-TX) suggested that “some sort of means-testing potentially” could be implemented to limit who can receive benefits.
In his most recent budget, released March 9, Biden called for “protecting and strengthening” Social Security. Biden has proposed raising taxes on those earning above $400,000 to continue funding Medicare beyond the current projected date of insolvency in 2028 and “at least into the 2050s,” according to the White House.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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