Biden pledges $1,400 “targeted” stimulus checks – Forbes Adviser – Community News
Stimulus Check

Biden pledges $1,400 “targeted” stimulus checks – Forbes Adviser

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Lawmakers in Washington are busy drawing up plans for the next Covid-19 aid package. That package will include another round of economic impact payments, known as stimulus checks, that can reach as much as $1,400 per qualified American. However, President Biden has said he is willing to “target” who will receive these checks, which could exclude some Americans who previously received them.

Read more: $1,400 Stimulus Check Calculator – How Much Could You Receive?

Biden, who is just over two weeks into his presidential term, has prioritized getting additional aid to the American people as soon as possible. His view that the next package is a two-pronged effort has already garnered at least one counter-offer from Republicans, but Biden is unwilling to budge on certain provisions and has encouraged lawmakers to “go big” with the package.

The Senate has already passed a budget bill, meaning the budget reconciliation process is underway. This handy congressional tool allows Democrats to approve the following stimulus package without GOP votes. But as the process progresses, more hurdles begin to arise.

Here is the following incentive package.

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Biden, Democrats Stay True to $1,400 Check Promise, But They Will Likely Be Targeted

Biden’s first vision for the next stimulus package is based on his $1.9 trillion US bailout. The relief plan includes another round of stimulus, state and local funding, expanding federally funded unemployment benefits to $400 a week through September, and expanding value and access to some key tax credits, including the child tax credit and the income tax credit (EITC).

On Thursday, the Senate passed an amendment to the budget resolution that would target the stimulus measures to low- and middle-income families. The amendment does not specify the specific thresholds, but makes sure that “higher income payers are not eligible” for the next round of stimulus checks.

Republican senators have proposed changing the income thresholds to $40,000 for individuals and $80,000 for married couples applying jointly, and Biden has indicated he is open to negotiating these thresholds with them. Since negotiations are still in the early stages and a draft of the proposal has not yet been released, it is too early to determine where the income thresholds for stimulus control eligibility will end.

The last two rounds of stimulus checks were paid in full to individuals earning less than $75,000 annually, and married couples collectively earning less than $150,000. However, this meant that some families with household incomes of up to $300,000 got some incentive money.

Leading economists, analysts, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and even the Federal Reserve have pointed to the importance of a major stimulus bill to support the recovering economy and help afflicted Americans. But Republicans have objected to the price tag and have already made efforts to convince the president to support a smaller package.

Read more: Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package includes third stimulus check, long-term unemployment

Earlier this week, a group of 10 Republican senators submitted a counter-proposal totaling $618 billion — less than a third of the cost of the US bailout plan. Cutting costs meant the senators made concessions to key provisions of Biden’s plan, including lowering the stimulus checks to $1,000, lowering the income thresholds of who would receive them, and lowering the expanded unemployment benefits to $300. weekly.

It also omitted provisions that Biden and the Democratic party have strongly urged, such as aiding state and local governments and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

In the spirit of bipartisanship, Biden met with the senators to discuss their offer, but the meeting was largely seen as symbolic. During comments on Friday, Biden continued to support his original request for the stimulus checks totaling $1,400 (which would round out previous $600 stimulus checks to $2,000, something that was requested by former President Donald Trump during the latest stimulus package negotiations, but was given up last minute). He also criticized Republicans for wanting to reduce the amount of direct aid to Americans.

“What Republicans have proposed is either doing nothing or not doing enough,” Biden said. “Suddenly many of them have rediscovered the fiscal reticence and the deficit concern, but don’t kid yourself.” He added that the Republican approach to the next stimulus package “will come at a cost — more pain, for more people, and longer than necessary.”

A new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicts that the U.S. economy will recover to pre-pandemic levels by the middle of this year, even if Congress doesn’t approve additional aid, but it will likely be years before those who have lost their money employment due to Covid-19 can return to work.

An analysis by S&P Global estimates that Biden’s proposal would restore the economy to pre-pandemic levels this summer, faster than CBO forecasts. Biden cited these analyzes during his comments on Friday, adding to the pressure for his plan.

Budget alignment will be key for the next stimulus package

The Senate passed a budget bill early Friday morning after an overnight session. It is a crucial step towards using fiscal alignment to pass the next stimulus package.

Under normal rules, the Senate would need at least 60 votes to end the debate on controversial topics or bills (known as the Senate filibuster) and proceed with the voting process. But Democrats in the Senate are gearing up to get around that requirement with a special tool called budget reconciliation.

Budget reconciliation would bypass the Senate filibuster. It would only take a simple majority to approve the stimulus package, meaning it could go ahead without Republican backing. The chambers are currently split 50/50 between Republicans and Democrats, with Vice President Kamala Harris as the deciding factor.

However, the incentive package provisions must also comply with the Byrd Rule, which has specific requirements for legislation to qualify for protection against filibusters through the reconciliation process. Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour is already being discussed by lawmakers as consistent with the Byrd rule — and it’s up to Senate MP Elizabeth MacDonough to determine whether this provision can be included.

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) said the stimulus checks will go out “within a week” after Democrats pass the next stimulus bill.