Recent reports suggest that President Joe Biden has agreed to make stimulus checks more targeted and thus, would leave out millions of people. However, on Thursday, the White House assured that almost all households who got a payment in December will get the coronavirus stimulus check this time as well.
Most Households To Get Coronavirus Stimulus Check
Following Wednesday’s negotiations, it was reported that Biden has indicated making direct payments more targeted. Further, it was reported that the amount of stimulus checks would remain the same at $1,400, but it would phase out faster.
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As per the original proposed $1.9 trillion plan, those with AGI (adjusted gross income) of less than $75,000 ($150,000 for married couples) would get the full $1,400. On the other hand, those with AGI of $100,000 or more, would get no payment at all.
However, it was reported that after Wednesday’s negotiations, a proposal was made to reduce the threshold income to $80,000. This means those making more than $80,000 (couples earning more than $160,000) wouldn’t get any stimulus money.
After the report, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy estimated that the new proposal, if approved, would leave out 12 million adults from getting the payment.
Such reports created quite a stir among people. The White House, on Thursday, came up with a clarification that under the Senate version of the $1.9 trillion relief package, about 158.5 million households would qualify for the payment.
Speaking to reporters, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki noted that about 98% of the households that got the payment in December, would qualify for the stimulus checks this time as well.
Further, Psaki said that the president wants to sign the coronavirus stimulus package as soon as possible to provide relief to Americans.
Senate To Start Debate On The Legislation
Separately, on Thursday, the Senate voted to start the debate on Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief bill. The bill is expected to get the Senate’s approval this week. As was expected, Vice President Kamala Harris, who is also the president of the Senate, had to intervene to break a 50-50 tie to send the bill for debate.
Now, the Senate can move forward with up to 20 hours of debate on the relief proposal. After this, Senators would be allowed to come up with amendments, if any, for the legislation.
“It’s time to move forward with this legislation which will be one of the largest antipoverty bills in recent history,” Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader, said Thursday.
Republicans, however, have threatened to introduce several amendments to the bill to make the approval process time consuming. Moreover, they are likely to introduce amendments to force Democrats to vote on controversial issues, such as reopening schools. With the Senate evenly split, even one defection could prove very costly for the Democrats.
That is why Democrats have been tweaking the bill to ensure support from all 50 of their members.