Democrats OK slightly tighter income limits for stimulus checks

Grant Boone
March 3, 2021

Individuals earning less than $75,000 and couples earning less than $150,000 will - just as in the House bill. A limit of $120,000 in income for the head of the household would also apply if passed.

"We must act now to prevent tens of millions of hardworking Americans from being underpaid any longer".

That means fewer families will receive a partial payment than would have under the original plan - completely cutting off those who earn more than $160,000 a year and individuals who earn more than $80,000 a year.

"It's an appropriate way of bringing this to a successful conclusion", Senator Michael Bennet told reporters. Michael Bennett (D-Colo.) said.

Despite every Democrats' huge leverage because all their votes are needed, none have so far threatened to sink the legislation if they don't get their way. "It was more just to hear from President Biden telling us how important it is that we get this done". Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) said.

"I think we're making a lot of headway", Mr. Wyden said.

Senate Democrats and the White House also agreed to keep a provision that would increase federal unemployment benefits to $400 per week through the end of August.

One big change is that the Senate bill won't raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough advised last week that because Democrats are using a special budget reconciliation process to move the bill quickly without Republican support, they can not include policy changes, such as raising the national minimum wage. According to USA Today, "the 6.3 percent unemployment rate would tumble to 4.8 percent by year-end under the Biden plan, while virtually flatlining with no aid". The letter is signed by the chairs of the Senate Finance, Budget and Banking committees, as well as California Democratic Sen.

The bill would pay for vaccines and medical supplies, boost jobless assistance and send a new round of emergency financial aid to households, small businesses and state and local governments. With the Senate split 50-50, Biden can't afford to lose any Democratic votes and Republicans have united against the ARP, calling it too expensive and "bloated" with extras unrelated to the coronavirus pandemic, such as $1.5 million for a bridge in Upstate New York.

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AVATT earlier secured more than 270 million doses of AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Johnson&Johnson vaccines. News reports the first recipients are due to be healthcare workers.

Both transit projects were removed from the bill Tuesday evening.

Then begins what is called a vote-a-rama, in which senators can offer hundreds of amendments to modify the bill. There are some Republican legislators who do not, but the Republican base absolutely supports them, as do Democrats.

Democrats are using special rules that will let them avoid GOP filibusters that would require them to garner an impossible 60 votes to approve the legislation.

With Democrats and their allies controlling 50 seats, Vice President Kamala Harris might need to give them a tie-breaking vote. "I expect some late nights on the floor", Schumer told reporters. Biden will speak by phone Tuesday afternoon with Senate Democrats about the plan, the White House said.

Getting checks to Americans as fast as possible has been a priority for Biden in his opening weeks as president.

The Senate can not simply pass the House bill.

Proponents of recurring checks and automatically renewing unemployment benefits opted against pushing for those ideas to be included in the pending bill due to concerns it would add to the overall cost of the measure and thereby endanger its passage, a Democratic aide said.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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