Stimulus: Democrats Propose Changing Eligibility for $1,400 Stimulus Checks for Families Earning Over $200K

Lawmakers are currently trying to negotiate another stimulus package. Democrats, in particular, are trying to push forward a proposal that would not require Republican support (since Democrats control both the House and the Senate and Joe Biden, a Democrat, holds the presidency). According to CNN, Democrats have proposed changing eligibility requirements for $1,400 stimulus checks for families that make over a certain amount. However, given what some lawmakers, such as Sen. Bernie Sanders, have said, it's unclear if the motion will gather enough support.

Democrats reportedly rejected a Republican proposal to narrow eligibility for stimulus payments. They are now moving forward with legislation that would provide $1,400 stimulus checks to eligible Americans. Unlike previous stimulus packages, this round of payments would phase out faster. Their package would also completely cut off individuals who earn more than $100,000 and couples earning more than $200,000 from getting stimulus payments. The House Ways and Means Committee is set to debate the aspects of this bill on Wednesday.

On Monday, Chairman Richard Neal, a Democrat from Massachusetts, proposed a plan that entails that stimulus payments would be sent in full to individuals who earn less than $75,000 per year (and under $150,000 for married couples who file a joint tax return). If you do file a joint tax return, you will receive $2,800 plus $1,400 for each child that you claim as a dependent. This plan would not narrow eligibility as significantly as the Republicans' proposal, which would have excluded 28 million households from receiving stimulus checks. President Biden has said that he wants bipartisan support on this package, but he also wants stimulus checks to be sent out to Americans as soon as possible. CNN reported that Democrats are moving forward with a legislative procedure known as reconciliation to pass their next stimulus package without Republican support.

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There has been much talk regarding eligibility requirements as it concerns the next stimulus package. While some lawmakers, including Biden and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, have brought up the possibility of lowering the income threshold for these stimulus checks, others, including Sen. Sanders, have shared that they are not on board with that possibility. Sanders told CNN that he supports a "strong cliff" for payments "so it doesn't kind of spillover to people making $300,000 a year." But, he added, "And that's what I support, that's what I think most people understand. But to say to a worker in Vermont or California or any place else, that if you're making, you know, $52,000 a year, you are too rich to get this help, the full benefit, I think that that's absurd."