More than three-quarters of Americans say the $1,400 checks doled out earlier this year as part of President Biden’s COVID-19 relief plan only helped them out a little bit or not at all, a new poll has found.

According to the NPR/Marist survey published Thursday, 45 percent of US adults said the money “helped a little,” while 32 percent said they were “not helped at all.” Just 21 percent of respondents said they were “helped a lot” by the stimulus.

While the Biden administration touted the payments as a way to boost the American economy while COVID vaccinations ramped up, just 17 percent of respondents said they felt Biden was most responsible for ensuring the stimulus plan was approved.

The same percentage of Americans gave congressional Republicans the lion’s share of the credit for securing the payments, despite the fact that the stimulus passed the House and Senate without any GOP votes.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking at a press conference about the child tax credit.Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA

President Biden speaks during an event marking the day that families will get their first monthly child tax credit relief payments through the American Rescue Plan.Alex Edelman/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutte

The results were released as Democrats in Congress attempt to pass the third and final piece of the president’s spending agenda, the nearly $2 trillion Build Back Better Act, before the end of 2021.

The NPR/Marist poll finds 41 percent of Americans support the social spending plan, while 34 percent are opposed and 25 percent say they’re unsure about whether to back it.

However, more than half of Americans (51 percent) say they are pessimistic that the measure would lower inflation, which they identified as the top issue facing the country in a previous iteration of the poll.

Americans think more highly of the bipartisan infrastructure spending law enacted by Biden last month, with 53 percent saying they believed it would offer better-paying jobs and 69 percent saying they were optimistic that it would boost America’s roads and bridges.

Over 60 percent of people polled thought the US was headed in the wrong direction.
NPR / Marist Poll

A large portion of Americans felt the checks did little or nothing to help them.
NPR / Marist Poll

A little over 40 percent of Americans support Build Back Better.
NPR / Marist Poll

There were 51 percent of people polled who were pessimistic on inflation.
NPR / Marist Poll

However, more than half of Americans — 56 percent — said they did not believe the $1.2 trillion package would lower inflation. Advocates of the measure had argued it would pay for itself by boosting the American economy with infrastructure improvements.

Overall, 61 percent of American adults believe the US is headed in the wrong direction — up 12 percentage points from July — while just 34 percent believe it’s heading in the right direction.

Meanwhile, 42 percent of Americans approve of Biden’s job performance as president, the same rating as in late November and down two percentage points from early November. Fifty-one percent of Americans say they disapprove of the job Biden is doing, while 7 percent say they are unsure.

The recent poll found 34 percent are opposed and 25 percent say they’re unsure about whether to back the social spending plan. Win McNamee/Getty Images

“After pumping billions into the economy during 2021, Biden does not seem to be benefiting despite more Americans supporting the programs than opposing them,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Whether it’s a lack of salesmanship or the stubborn pandemic — or both — is a question the White House must tackle going into the 2022 midterms.”

The survey interviewed 1,172 adults — including 723 who reported receiving direct stimulus payments and 196 who reported receiving expanded child tax credit — and was conducted from Nov. 30 through Dec. 6. It carries an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.



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