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In the News: Public Backs More Infrastructure Spending

by RJ Reinhart

The Trump administration released its long-awaited plan Monday to rebuild the country's infrastructure. The plan calls for $200 billion in federal spending over the next decade, combined with $1.3 trillion in funds from state and local governments, as well as private partners. The plan also relies on rolling back regulations related to infrastructure construction and shortening of the time involved in the federal permit process for infrastructure projects.

Previous Gallup research suggests infrastructure spending is not only broadly popular but is among the least politically controversial of President Donald Trump's policy goals.

Americans support substantial infrastructure spending: More than six in 10 Americans (64%) last March agreed with Trump's proposal to enact a $1 trillion program to improve U.S. infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and tunnels. This was the second-most-popular of 15 Trump proposals or actions tested in the poll, with only a proposal requiring companies to provide family leave ranking higher.

A year earlier, in March 2016, an even larger majority of Americans (75%) said they supported spending more federal money to improve infrastructure, when it was measured without mentioning Trump's or any other candidate's backing for the proposal.

Infrastructure spending has bipartisan support: In addition to winning broad national support, infrastructure renewal sparked majority support from both major parties last year. Nearly eight in 10 Republicans (78%) and 54% of Democrats agreed with Trump's planned infrastructure spending.

Takeaway: While the exact details of the Trump administration's infrastructure plan are likely to arouse substantial political debate, Americans across party lines broadly support spending more public dollars on infrastructure. Should Trump succeed in pushing his proposal through Congress, it could help him close the vast partisan gap in his overall job approval rating, at least a little.

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Gallup http://news.gallup.com/poll/226961/news-public-backs-infrastructure-spending.aspx
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