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Politics Biden 'comfortable' cutting off stimulus checks for $80K+ earners

21:30  03 april  2021
21:30  03 april  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Joe Biden, Jen Psaki in a suit and tie: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

President Joe Biden is 'comfortable' cutting off stimulus checks to Americans who make more than $80,000, the White House indicated Wednesday, bowing to pressure from Senate moderates.

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. Same with couples who make more than $160,000.

'He is comfortable with where the negotiations stand,' Psaki said.

Couples who make less than $150,000 will receive the full amount, if the current version of the COVID-19 stimulus bill passes.

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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.

The move stands to get Senate moderates on board, as the White House pushes to have the $1.9 trillion package passed and signed before the March 14 deadline, which is when some Americans' unemployment benefits expire.

Progressives didn't want to see such tight income restrictions.

'Conservative Dems have fought so the Biden admin sends fewer & less generous relief checks than the Trump admin did,' Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Wednesday afternoon. 'It’s a move that makes little-to-no political or economic sense, and targets an element of relief that is most tangibly felt by everyday people. An own-goal.'

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West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat and a pivotal swing vote, had originally proposed for full checks to go to adults who make $50,000 or less and that $75,000 represented the ceiling.

To his left, progressives including Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are calling for recurring relief checks to be included in future relief packages.

Psaki said Biden was hopeful the current arrangement was someting 'Democrats of all political backgrounds' could get behind.

The Senate could start debate on the package as early as Wednesday night.

Lawmakers are currently awaiting a score from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office to ensure the legislation can be passed under Senate reconciliation rules.

This allows for Democrats to pass the bill without any Republican support, as they have 50 members and the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris.

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The House version of the bill, which passed early Saturday, also phased out stimulus checks, but had a higher ceiling.

Couples making $199,000 would still get some money, as would singles who make up to $100,000.

The two other series of stimulus checks have also been tailored by income.

The $600 checks, which were part of the December relief package, were to be provided to adults making under $75,000, however individuals under $87,000 could see some money.

The original $1,200 stimulus checks were given in full to adults who made under $75,000, but adults who made up to $99,000 were eligible to recieve some money.

Both Biden and Trump supported stimulus checks.

During his final weeks in office, Trump almost forced a government shutdown when the bill that passed Congress only included checks for $600.

At the last minute, Trump wanted $2,000 checks sent out to Americans instead.

When Biden announced his $1.9 trillion relief package in January, several days before his swearing-in, he backed $1,400 checks, so that with the $600 stimulus, Americans making $75,000 or less would see the full $2,000.

Psaki suggested at the Wednesday briefing that as long as the checks' dollar amount remained at $1,400, he had kept his campaign promise.

Biden campaigned in Georgia in December and January for now Democratic Sens. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, on how giving the Senate to the Democrats would pave the way for new payments.

Psaki said Biden had originally proposed that earners with slightly higher incomes would receive at least some stimulus.

'But he also knows that the sausuage making machine sometimes spits out a different package,' she admitted.

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This is interesting!