President Joe Biden says he will back a plan that will scale back the number of people who will get direct payments under the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan.
According to the White House, individuals who earn up to $75,000 and couples who earn up to $150,000 will get the full $1,400 per adult and dependent in the home. Under the new plan, the payments will be phased out for individuals who earn more than $80,000 and couples who earn $160,000 and above.
The legislation in the House version of the bill had payments going to individuals earning up to $100,000 and couples earning $200,000. The House version of the bill was passed Saturday.
Some who have gotten stimulus checks in the past will not be eligible for them this time under the new guidelines.
According to The New York Times, the agreement was explained on Wednesday by a Democrat familiar with the details, who disclosed them on condition of anonymity.
The change may be a nod to moderate Democrats who have pushed back on the idea of giving $1,400 to individuals who make more than $100,000 a year.
With the Senate tied at 50, Democratic leaders cannot afford to lose even one vote if they want to pass the stimulus legislation. In fact, the party needs all 50 of its members just to kick off consideration of the bill. A vote is expected on Wednesday afternoon that will initiate debate on the legislation and lead to consideration of amendments to the bill known as a “vote-a-rama.”
Narrowing eligibility for the stimulus checks is something moderates like Sens. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire and Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, were hoping to see in the Senate version of the nearly $2 trillion stimulus bill, according to The Washington Post.
Manchin has also said he favors keeping the federal unemployment payment at $300 per week rather than raise it to $400 as passed by the House.
“Three hundred dollars is where we’ve been. It’s consistent with what we’ve been doing. It’s kind of hard to explain you’re getting a bump up now basically, when you’re ready to come off,” Manchin said.
He said on Tuesday evening he was still “working it” but acknowledged most of his party is “leaning $400.”
One of those “leaning $400″ is Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.
“The caucus wants it to stay at $400,” Brown said on Tuesday night. Asked why, he answered: “Because we’re not Republicans.”