Not everyone who got the first two stimulus checks will be eligible for a potential third stimulus check. Most Republicans in Congress are against another stimulus check so soon after the last round — and some Democrats are too. According to a report by Fortune, their proposal is to restrict eligibility for the payments and reduce the number of Americans receiving them.
Who will be eligible for the third stimulus checks?
A group of 16 senators, including West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin, are calling to lower the income threshold for the next stimulus check, with the hopes of more narrowly targeting families and individuals who need the help. On Monday, President Joe Biden said he is open to exploring this kind of change. He said: "There's a legitimate reason for people to say, 'Do you have the lines drawn the exact right way? Should it go to anybody making over X number of dollars or Y?' I'm open to negotiate those things."
The two stimulus checks passed so far followed roughly the same income eligibility guidelines. Individual taxpayers making $75,000 per year or less would get the full stimulus check, and the check would decrease incrementally for an AGI above that level. At an AGI of $99,000 or more, the taxpayer would get no stimulus check.
The amounts were simply doubled for couples who file taxes jointly, and a different breakdown was provided for "Head-of-Household" filers. However, all of this was based on 2018 or 2019 tax returns, so it did not account for changes to employment in 2020. The coronavirus pandemic devastated the job market on many fronts so that missing information is significant.
So far, there is no word on what the new income threshold might look like, and it doesn't sound like Manchin's group has proposed a specific number they want to aim for. However, there is also still a chance that Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal will pass without any input from Republicans at all. To do that, he and the Democrats in the United States Senate would use the budget reconciliation process that has been used to push tough bills through before.
How much money will be in Biden's stimulus checks?
Biden's plan is already facing harsh criticism for offering a $1,400 stimulus check, rather than the $2,000 he outwardly supported during his campaign. His administration argues that with the recent $600 stimulus check passed in December, Americans will still end up with $2,000 overall. Many critics do not see it that way, so any further changes to the plan could lose Biden some clout.