Republican senators could pay a political price for opposing a $3 trillion Democratic coronavirus relief proposal, with three-quarters of voters in Senate battleground states supporting the legislation, according to a new poll from two progressive organizations.
The survey, from Data for Progress and The Justice Collaborative Institute, found widespread support for the HEROES Act, which the Democratic-led House passed in mid-May. The legislation included a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks for most Americans, $200 billion in housing assistance and $1 trillion in aid to state and local governments.
Senate Republicans have resisted the legislation, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has indicated the chamber will pass its own, less costly GOP-led proposal later this month. Both McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have suggested compromise is likely, with possible sticking points including an extension of expanded unemployment benefits and McConnell’s desire for a liability shield to protect companies from coronavirus-related lawsuits.
“I can’t comfortably predict we’re going to come together and pass it unanimously like we did a few months ago — the atmosphere is becoming a bit more political than it was in March,” McConnell told reporters in Louisville earlier this month. “But I think we will do something again. I think the country needs one last boost.”
The poll, however, found the senators McConnell is counting on to win reelection and keep the GOP’s control of the Senate could lose support if that boost doesn’t go far enough in battling the economic pain wrought by the pandemic. The national unemployment rate is above 11%, and a previously passed $2 trillion relief law has played a key role in preventing further economic collapse.
The poll found 57% of voters said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports the Democratic proposal, while just 11% said they would be less...