Stimulus payments: Democrats reject proposal to limit $1,400 checks; unemployment, tax credit in plan

House leaders on Monday rejected a proposal to send $1,400 stimulus payments only to those who make less than $50,000 a year, instead keeping in place the income levels that were used to determine who was eligible for the two previous stimulus payments.

>> Read more trending news

The call for the third stimulus payment to go to fewer people has caused in-fighting in the Democratic Party with progressives calling for checks to go to the people who received the first two and moderates like West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, calling for more fiscal restraint.

On Monday, House Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal, D-Massachusetts, released legislation that would send the full stimulus payment to individuals earning $75,000 per year and couples earning $150,000 per year, the same measure used to determine who received the first two payments.

The direct payments to Americans are part of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan.

While the income level on the lower end of the scale was not changed, singles earning $100,000 a year and couples earning $200,000 would receive no stimulus payments, according to The Washington Post.

The stimulus checks will be based on taxpayers’ 2019 or 2020 income returns, according to the draft plan.

In addition to the direct payments, the Democrats’ bill will provide funding for cities and states, unemployment and a child tax income credit.

The House Ways and Means Committee plans to vote on the measure week’s end.

Here are the details of the proposal coming out of the House Ways and Means Committee that is expected to be voted on by the end of the week:

  • Health insurance: The bill would cover 85% of the cost of health care premiums for workers who have been laid off.
  • Nursing home funds: The bill calls for sending almost half a billion dollars to help nursing homes improve their infection control practices.
  • The child income tax credit: For parents with a certain income, the credit would offer $3,600 per child for each child under 6. The money would be paid out monthly. Parents of a child older than 6 would receive $3,000 a year.
  • Unemployment: Federal unemployment benefits would be extended from mid-March to Aug. 29, and would be increased to $400 per week.
  • Minimum wage: A $15-per-hour minimum wage will be included in the plan, though some have questioned whether it would be allowed in a bill that is being crafted under reconciliation – a plan designed to address only bills that include measures that are germane to the issue of the bill.
  • Self-employed: Those who are self-employed and gig workers would see an extension of unemployment benefits.
  • Paid-leave: Benefits for workers on paid leave and tax credits for employers with fewer than 500 employees would see funds to reimburse them for the cost of the leave.