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Public Opinion Snapshot: Public Backs Financial System Reform

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The recent passage of the health care reform bill was a huge accomplishment for Congress. But there are other critical issues still to be addressed, such as reforming the regulations governing our financial system. Congress is now in the process of debating this issue with legislative action expected in the near future.

As the debate proceeds, policymakers should note that the public is strongly supportive of moving forward in this area, and they are likely to view those who try to delay or derail action quite unfavorably.

Consider these results from an early March survey conducted by Pew’s Financial Reform Project. The poll asked how important it is to take action now to reform big Wall Street banks. The public was overwhelmingly convinced (79 percent) that it was very (47 percent) or somewhat (32 percent) important to take action, compared to just 18 percent who thought it was not too (9 percent) or not at all (10 percent) important.

The same poll gave the public a short description of the financial reform plan being discussed in Congress. They favored by the plan by a lopsided 69-25 margin.

The public also said that if their member of Congress voted for the financial reform plan, they’d be far more likely (50 percent) to be more favorable toward their representative than less favorable (18 percent). These data should encourage those in Congress seeking to move forward swiftly on sending a financial reform bill to the president’s desk.

Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. To learn more about his public opinion analysis go to the Media and Progressive Values page and the Progressive Studies program page of our website.

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This is part of a regular column: Public Opinion Snapshot

For more from the same column, click here