Inflation Reduction Act has widespread support based on public polling
Every Republican in Congress opposed the law despite its widespread popularity.
The Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law by President Joe Biden on Tuesday after being unanimously opposed by Republicans in Congress, despite a succession of opinion polls showing widespread support for many of the provisions in the legislation.
The House passed the Inflation Reduction Act with a Democratic majority, while unified Republican opposition in the Senate required Vice President Kamala Harris to cast the deciding vote in favor of passage. Despite that, polling shows that the law has notable support with the public, including some Republican voters.
Public opinion was measured in a Morning Consult/Politico poll of voters that was taken between last Friday and Sunday, prior to before the bill’s signing. 76% of respondents support the provision in the Inflation Reduction Act which puts a cap on prescription drug price increases, similar to the 73% who support empowering Medicare to negotiate some drug prices. 72% of respondents also back limitations on prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries, another provision of the law, which keeps such costs below $2,000 a year.
Respondents also expressed strong support for the new 15% minimum corporate tax rate for companies earning over $1 billion a year, with 61% indicating support.
The estimated $369 billion in generated revenue as a result of the Inflation Reduction Act allocated for had majority support in the poll as well. 54% said they supported the investment on efforts to reduce climate change and another 59% said they backed the $60 billion in incentives for clean energy manufacturing in the legislation.
Results from other polls have shown similar results. A Reuters/Ipsos poll released Aug. 10 showed a majority of Americans support the provisions in the bill, and the sections of the bill that deal with capping prescription drug costs appealed to a majority of Republicans, in addition to Independents and Democrats.
Both of those polls echo findings from Democratic Party-affiliated pollsters that were released earlier in the month. Navigator’s poll released Aug. 3 showed that 65% of voters backed the bill, while Data for Progress’ poll released on the same day had 73% of those poll in support, including a majority of Republicans.
At the ceremony in which he signed the bill, Biden pointed out the wide gulf between the public and the Republican Party:
The Inflation Reduction Act does so many things that, for so many years, so many of us have fought to make happen.
And let’s be clear: In this historic moment, Democrats sided with the American people, and every single Republican in the Congress sided with the special interests in this vote — every single one. In fact, the big drug companies spent nearly $100 million to defeat this bill. A hundred million dollars.
And remember: Every single Republican in Congress voted against this bill. Every single Republican in Congress voted against lowering prescription drug prices, against lowering healthcare costs, against a fairer tax system. Every single Republican — every single one — voted against tackling the climate crisis, against lowering our energy costs, against creating good-paying jobs.
My fellow Americans, that’s the choice we face: We can protect the already powerful or show the courage to build a future where everybody has an even shot. That’s the America I believe in. That’s what I believe in.
Republicans have not offered legislation to comprehensively address the issues in the Act, but proposals suggested within the past few months have not had the same success in nationwide polling.
Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, introduced the “Rescue America” plan in February. That plan calls for taxes to be raised for most Americans should Republicans win a majority in the 2022 midterm elections, including middle and low-income households. The plan would also make cuts to safety net programs like Social Security and Medicare.
An analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found that Scott’s plan would raise the average federal income tax by about $1,480.
When Morning Consult polled voters on Scott’s plan in March, only 33% said they would support it while 51% said they would oppose it.
That same month, after the plan was criticized by Democrats, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell distanced the Republican Party from it.
“We will not have as part of our agenda a bill that raises taxes on half the American people, and sunsets Social Security and Medicare within five years,” McConnell said.
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