House Democrats are plowing ahead with a CCP virus stimulus package that would keep the existing income limits for the proposed $1,400 stimulus checks and payments, while reducing eligibility for higher-income individuals and couples.
According to draft legislation (pdf) from House Democrats proposed on Monday, people earning $75,000 or less would receive the $1,400 payment. A bipartisan group of lawmakers attempted to reduce the threshold to $50,000, while Treasury officials said that $60,000 should be the limit.
The draft noted that the payments would phase out faster than previous rounds, cutting off Americans who make more than $100,000 per year and couples who earn more than $200,000 per year.
“Our nation is struggling, the virus is still not contained, and the American people are counting on Congress to meet this moment with bold, immediate action,” House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) said in a news release. “Later this week, the Ways and Means Committee will take a crucial step to confront this challenge and show the country that help is on the way. From increasing direct assistance to those who need it most to expanding tax credits for low- and middle-income workers, we deliver substantial solutions in this package.”
The draft legislation made note that the $1,400 checks are an “additional payment” to the $600 that was passed under the previous Congress and Trump administration. Some critics have said that Democrats, including President Joe Biden, proposed $2,000 payments during the Georgia Senate runoff campaign, coming after the $600 payments were authorized.
The other major proposal includes extending federal unemployment benefits until Aug. 29 of this year, increasing the weekly amount from $300 to $400 per week. And it expands the Child Tax Credit to $3,000 per child between the ages of 6 and 17, and $3,600 for children under 6.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) repeatedly argued that the eligibility for those receiving the stimulus checks should be reduced.
“I don’t think a single person on this floor would disagree to target the relief to our neighbors who are struggling,” Manchin said on the Senate floor. “There are other families who have not missed a single paycheck as a result of this pandemic. It does not make sense to send a check to those individuals.”
Manchin, however, said he was open to passing House Democrats’ proposal, adding they will have to make an argument that shows “that $75,000 and $150,000 is truly in need.”
On Sunday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that Americans earning $60,000 per year should get the full $1,400.
“If you think about an elementary school teacher or a policeman making $60,000 a year, and faced with children who are out of school and people who may have had to withdraw from the labor force in order to take care of them and many extra burdens, [President Joe Biden] thinks, and I would certainly agree, that it’s appropriate for people there to get support,” said Yellen on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.