Biden is betting on bigger government. The pandemic may be helping.

A year’s worth of government efforts to help protect individuals and businesses whose livelihoods have been threatened by the pandemic have perhaps softened, for now, public resistance to major government initiatives. Biden is trying to capitalize on the current mood by moving swiftly with his big agenda.

Across five polls taken since late February, Biden’s stimulus package earned the support of between 61 percent and 75 percent of the public, according to my Washington Post colleagues Scott Clement and Emily Guskin. The president overstated support for the measure among rank-and-file Republicans during his news conference, but at least a quarter, and in some polls an even larger minority, of Republicans have said they liked the plan.

All the pandemic-related spending bills under the Trump administration were approved with strong bipartisan support, as Republicans set aside their traditional resistance to bigger deficits and more debt to respond to an economic crisis caused by the pandemic. With Biden in the White House, GOP lawmakers have now snapped back in the direction of resistance to more government spending. They marched in unison to oppose the president’s stimulus bill and are lining up to do the same with the coming package.

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