Third stimulus check update: who is eligible for Biden, GOP plans? – Community News
Stimulus Check

Third stimulus check update: who is eligible for Biden, GOP plans?

The top-line numbers are this: Biden’s plan calls for another $1.9 trillion in federal spending. The 10 GOP senators are asking for about $618 billion.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden and a group of 10 Senate Republicans have made competing proposals to help the United States respond to the coronavirus pandemic and provide economic relief to businesses and families.

The president will meet with senators at the White House Monday in what press secretary Jen Psaki described as “an exchange of ideas” and not a forum for Biden to “make or accept an offer.” Meanwhile, Democratic leaders in Congress are laying the groundwork to adopt Biden’s proposal in the coming weeks.

The top-line numbers are this: Biden’s plan calls for another $1.9 trillion in federal spending. The 10 GOP senators are asking for about $618 billion in federal spending.

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The aid would come on top of the $900 billion coronavirus package that Congress approved in December and the $2.2 trillion package passed in March.

An overview of the main differences:

HELP TO INDIVIDUALS

Biden proposes $1,400 checks for individuals earning less than $75,000. The amount would be $2,800 for couples making less than $150,000.

The 10 GOP senators demand $1,000 checks. They would go to individuals making less than $40,000 per year and would phase out with a hard cap of $50,000 per year. The payment would increase to $2,000 for couples earning up to $80,000 and phase out with a hard cap of $100,000 per year.

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HELP TO STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

Biden’s framework would send $350 billion to state and local governments to ease cuts in services and keep police, firefighters and other public sector workers employed.

The Republican senators did not include direct support for state and local governments in their proposal. There has been strong resistance in the GOP to such aid, with many arguing that it would reward states for poor tax management.

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HELP TO SCHOOLS

Biden proposes $170 billion for education. Most of that money would go to schools for kindergarten through 12th grade to offset the costs needed to reopen safely. About $35 billion would be focused on universities and community colleges.

The Republicans’ plan is raising $20 billion for schools serving kindergarten through 12th grade as part of an initiative to get kids back to school.

MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE

Biden’s plan includes a gradual increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. GOP senators’ plan doesn’t cover the federal minimum wage, which is now $7.25 an hour.

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CHILD CARE

Biden proposes $40 billion in federal spending on childcare. Within that amount, $25 billion would go to an “emergency stabilization fund” to help childcare providers cover the costs needed to reopen or stay open. Another $15 billion would go to a long-standing block grant program that subsidizes childcare costs for low-income families with children under 13. Biden also calls for tax cuts to be increased to help cover childcare costs.

The 10 GOP senators are calling for a $20 billion increase for that block grant program.

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

Biden wants unemployment benefits of $400 a week, a $100 increase from the current law, in September. His plan would also extend eligibility to self-employed workers, such as car-sharing drivers, who typically don’t qualify for unemployment benefits.

The GOP plan also extends unemployment benefits, but at $300 a week until June 30.

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VACCINES AND TESTING

Both proposals will bring in $160 billion to boost vaccinations and COVID-19 testing, essentially allowing the country to launch vaccination centers, buy faster tests, expand lab capacity, and buy personal protective equipment for first responders.

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