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Stimulus Checks Push Joe Biden’s Approval Rating Higher Despite Border Crisis

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President Joe Biden’s approval rating has risen as people receive stimulus checks, despite his administration being under fire over the situation at the southern border.

Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan on March 11, and millions of Economic Impact Payments have since been sent. While he and his allies have welcomed this victory, his adversaries have looked to draw focus to the crisis at the southern border.

There has been a surge in the number of migrant families arriving, with figures tipped to “break all records,” according to Brandon Judd, the president of the National Border Patrol Council.

Despite this scrutiny, Biden’s approval rating has improved since March 11. According to FiveThirtyEight’s tracker, based on weighted averages of a range of polls, his approval rating was 53 percent on that day. As of March 22, it is at 55.1 percent.

Real Clear Politics’ tracker similarly showed an increase. It had Biden’s approval at 53 percent on March 12. It is now at 54 percent.

90 million stimulus check payments have been distributed. These are worth up to $1,400 for eligible recipients.

More stimulus checks and Biden’s relief plan generally held bipartisan support among the public, according to polls.

Despite that, no Republican lawmakers backed the plans, having questioned the amount of spending, and the bill was passed without their support using the reconciliation process.

Biden and the Democrats have celebrated its passage as an early victory in his presidency. The president and vice president are embarking on a “Help is Here” tour, touting the bill across the nation.

Meanwhile, Republicans have rounded on problems at the border—blaming Biden’s immigration stances and policies for exacerbating problems. They have branded the situation a crisis, a label the administration has avoided.

Adding further scrutiny for Biden, progressive Democrats have taken issue with the way in which those detained at the border—including an increased number of children—are being treated.

The U.S. is on pace to see more migrants at the southern border than any time in the past 20 years. The graphic below, from Statista, shows figures for the numbers of children and families apprehended at the border in recent months.

President Joe Biden waves to First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and family, who were watching from the Truman Balcony, as he walks to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on March 19, 2021 in Washington, D.C. His approval rating has seen an uptick as stimulus checks arrive across the nation.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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