The White House announced Wednesday that President Joe Biden has approved a plan to tighten income levels for those who would receive a $1,400 stimulus check in the next COVID-19 aid package.
The new income restrictions would block nearly 17 million people who have previously received checks from getting the direct payment.
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Biden and Senate Democrats want to lower the level at which payments are phased out.
Under the proposed Senate plan, individuals earning up to $75,000 (in adjusted gross income) would receive a payment of $1,400, with the amount decreasing as income increases. The payment would disappear completely for those making more than $80,000.
For those applying as householders, full payment would go to those earning less than $112,500, with the payment phased out entirely at $120,000 in income. For couples, $2,800 will go to those who apply jointly and earn up to $150,000, graduating at $160,000.
The COVID-19 relief bill passed by the House on Saturday would phase out direct payments to taxpayers with incomes between $75,000 and $100,000 for singles, $112,500 and $150,000 for single parents, and $150,000 and $200,000 for married couples. phase out.
The plan would mean that 11.8 million fewer adults and 4.6 million fewer children would receive benefits compared to the first two stimulus checks, according to the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy.
In total, about 280 million Americans would still be eligible for incentive payments, according to the ITEP.
As the Senate begins debate on the bill, some expressed support for the measure.
“I think we’re in a really good place and honestly, the most important thing is to get this done,” said D-Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow.
Earlier in the day, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that Biden is “comfortable” with the state of the negotiations.
Others blame the government for the proposed change.
“It will be a real problem if this is undermined in the Senate,” said D-Washington Representative Pramila Jayapal.
House. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, tweeted, “Conservative Democrats have been fighting, so the Biden admin sends fewer and less generous aid checks than the Trump admin did.”
“It is a movement that makes little to no political or economic sense, and is aimed at an element of relief most felt by ordinary people. An own goal,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.
Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski said on Wednesday she believes the bill has “way too much surplus” but has not decided how she plans to vote on the measure, adding: “I come from a stands where people say we need help,” she said.
Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, left no doubt where he stands on the bill.
“This is far, far from what is needed now, as vaccines enter the fray and the economy is already poised to literally roar back,” McConnell said Wednesday.
Cox Media Group