Talks of the third round of stimulus checks are already in full swing. The Biden administration wants to give $1,400 stimulus payment to every eligible individual. One Republican Congressman, however, says that coronavirus stimulus checks should only go to those who receive the coronavirus vaccination.
Can Republicans, Democrats find common ground on relief package?
President Joe Biden proposed a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan, which includes $1,400 stimulus checks. Some Republicans, however, believe the cost is too much. They argue that there is no need for another $2 trillion plan just weeks after the $900 billion package. Further, these Republicans argue that another relief package would add to the national debt.
Such opposition may make it difficult for the Biden administration to get the bill approved. Though the administration has said it would prefer to have bipartisan approval on the relief package, it hasn’t ruled out approving the package with Democratic support only.
Republican Steve Stivers, however, believes that both sides could find common ground on the stimulus package, including on infrastructure projects and giving state and local governments more time to spend already allocated funds.
However, Biden’s campaign promise of raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans is expected to face stiff opposition from the Republicans. Stivers argues that taxing capital gains as income for high earners may hamper economic growth.
“There are other things I'm willing to look at and willing to have a conversation about, but I would not start with things like a capital gains tax increase,” Stivers told Yahoo Finance Live.
Talking about the $1,400 stimulus checks, Stivers said instead of giving it to every qualifying American, the payment should go only to those who take the coronavirus vaccine.
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“I hope the administration will look at that option because we actually buy something with our $1,400 — and that’s herd immunity,” Stivers said.
Stivers argues that such a tactic would boost the vaccine uptake rate, and in turn, help the economy recover.
“The quickest thing we need to do if we really want to help the American people, is get this economy turned back on — get people back to work, get kids back in school, get ourselves some herd immunity, get the vaccine distributed as quick as we can and get the uptake rate up,” he said.
Stivers is not the first politician to propose the idea of the stimulus check in exchange for the coronavirus vaccine. John Delaney, an entrepreneur and former Democratic congressman for Maryland, proposed a similar idea earlier last month. At the time, Delaney proposed giving $1,500 stimulus checks to people in exchange for getting immunized.
“The faster we get 75 percent of this country vaccinated, the faster we end Covid and the sooner everything returns to normal,” Delaney told CNBC in an interview.