Democrats OK slightly tighter income limits for stimulus checks

03 Mars, 2021, 22:48 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Why this Republican is urging the GOP to support Biden's Covid-19 bill

The deal was made so that the Senate bill would maintain the $400-a-week unemployment benefit, a dollar amount that was etched out in the last COVID-19 stimulus package, passed under former President Donald Trump.

"This is Joe Biden's initiation", Mr. Durbin said. "But the American people are overwhelmingly in support of this legislation". Biden will speak by phone Tuesday afternoon with Senate Democrats about the plan, the White House said. Those Americans would not have been eligible for a full $1,400 check, but would have received some assistance.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Monday that the chamber will begin debating the coronavirus relief and stimulus package this week. In one sign, 11 Democratic senators wrote Biden urging him to use a huge, upcoming infrastructure bill to create regularly paid relief and jobless benefits that would be automatically triggered by economic conditions.

The senators suggested that keeping the benefits at a higher level could discourage laid-off workers from returning to jobs, just as more states loosen coronavirus-related business restrictions.

"It would be very bad for the doors to open up and there's no one working", Manchin said of businesses reopening. "You've got a lot of customers, no one working".

The House will have to vote on any changes the Senate makes. "I think it's noteworthy to know we're in the House". But there are problems to reconcile before the law can be sent to Biden's desk.

Ms. Shaheen said she would like additional money to go to broadband and health care and that there could be a way to further target the direct checks. Senator Debbie Stabenow said the caps would be "a reasonable compromise". The Senate agreement will cut off payments for those earning $80,000 or above, meaning fewer people will qualify. Democrats likely have the votes to reject them.

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The chamber's nonpartisan parliamentarian said last week that including that increase violated Senate budget rules.

"People desperately need resources, and we need to get these checks out the door", Sen. For their part, Republicans have vowed to fight the relief measure calling it "wildly expensive." Lawmakers may also opt to discontinue those benefits if unemployment in a given state drops below a certain level, according to a Democratic aide. Biden, who was in the Senate for more than three decades, is trying to let the process play out to the extent he can.

Not every Democrat was on board with the proposed change. "It is my hope that, in the end, Senate Republicans will unanimously oppose it just like House Republicans did", McConnell stated. "We'll be fighting this in every way that we can".

While some Democrats are still pushing to include a mandatory minimum wage hike to $15 per hour, the version of the bill that's now in the Senate no longer has the wage increase - the result of a procedural ruling last week that said the issue can not be part of the stimulus bill.

But if Senate Democrats tinker too much, they could upset the math in the House, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California can afford to lose only a handful of votes on whatever legislation lawmakers send back.

Almost two dozen House Democrats - including Reps.



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