Yellen Suggests $60,000 Income Threshold for Stimulus Checks

February 7, 2021 Updated: February 7, 2021

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Sunday said she believes that individual Americans earning $60,000 per year should be eligible for direct $1,400 stimulus payments amid talks about who should receive the checks.

“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.

Some senators—including Democrats—have suggested that stimulus payments should phase out past the $50,000 income level.

“I think the details can be worked out. And the president is certainly willing to work with Congress to find a good structure for these payments,” Yellen said, adding that the White House is negotiating with Congress to “define what is fair” in terms of stimulus payments.

Senate Democrats have suggested they are willing to push Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package without Republican support.

That drew backlash from Republicans on Sunday.

“I am absolutely willing to work with anyone if it is good for the American people because that’s what we should all be about. We have conservative solutions. The more conservative values infuse public policy, I think, the better public policy is. On the other hand, the administration is showing very clearly they don’t care if they have to work with us,” Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”

“They’re willing to push things through even if someone like Larry Summers, a former Democratic Treasury secretary, says it’s boneheaded policy. I’m paraphrasing,” he added, referring to Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief package. “And even if we come in good faith with at least 10 and more that would have joined us, and they say they don’t care. So, you got that—it takes two to tango. Right now, I’m not sure we have the two to tango.”