Biden limits eligibility for stimulus payments under pressure from moderate Senate Democrats

Ruben Fields
March 4, 2021

Press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed news reports that said the president backed giving the full $1,400 to Americans who make $75,000 and giving no money to those who make more than $80,000. The party can't afford to lose the support of even a single Senate Democrat, as it needs all 50 members to pass the measure via simple majority with a procedural tool known as budget reconciliation. Under the House plan, individuals making up to $100,000 per year and couples making up to $200,000 per year would receive a partial payment less than $1,400 per person, scaled down depending on income.

As for the bill now before Congress, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. said the chamber could take up the legislation beginning Wednesday.

Durbin, Illinois Democrat, said the battle against COVID-19, coupled with the legislative response through the relief package, will define Mr. Biden's early days in office.

The changes are a nod to moderate Democrats in the Senate who have pushed for a more targeted approach to a third round of stimulus payments.

President Biden first proposed the $1.9 trillion relief package last month, including $400 in weekly unemployment benefits; $70 billion towards vaccination centers and Covid-19 testing; $130 billion to help schools reopen safely; $15 billion in small business grants; $350 billion in emergency funding for state, local and territorial governments; reinstating paid sick leave; and $15 billion to help states subsidize child care for low-income families along with a $25 billion fund to help child care centers in danger of closing.

That change will not be adopted by Senate Democrats, the aide said. Moderates have wanted to trim those payments to $300 after Republicans have called the bill so heedlessly generous that it would prompt some people to not return to work.

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They suggested people pay tribute to him by donating to his foundation or to charities who would plant trees in his name . Speaking during the service Sir Tom's daughter Lucy Teixeira said: "Daddy, you would always tell us best foot forward".

Economic stimulus or economic relief: Here's what we know about who might qualify for the next round of coronavirus checks and how much they'll get. That's been the message from Schumer as his caucus heads into a lengthy vote-a-rama, that's been the message from the President and his staff and that's what Senate Democrats have been telling each other. "It was more just to hear from President Biden telling us how important it is that we get this done". But Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell expressed skepticism, saying that she thought "the package as it was originally crafted is good to go".

The bill-which must make it past the Senate floor before getting inked by Biden-has already gotten unanimous pushback from Republicans.

"We want to get the biggest, strongest, boldest bill that can pass".

Before the legislation comes to a final vote, Democrats will have to sort out a welter of competing ideas as they seek to advance the bill.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, perhaps the chamber's most conservative Democrat, has favored lowering the relief check eligibility limits and opposed the House bill's minimum wage increase. She said the $400 level for unemployment benefits was itself a compromise from $600.

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