Biden Looking to 'Narrow' Who Qualifies for Stimulus Checks
Democrat 'open to narrowing' which Americans will get relief money
Democrat Joe Biden is reportedly looking into "narrowing" which Americans will qualify for the next round of stimulus checks.
The move would be the latest blow for citizens holding out for relief money as a lifeline after critics from Biden’s own party have suggested that he has already broken his promise of $2,000 stimulus checks.
The news comes after Democratic Party leadership makes moves to bypass Republicans to push through legislation.
On Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) introduced a joint budget resolution that sets up the reconciliation process.
The move would allow them to pass Biden’s coronavirus stimulus package without needing support from the Republican Party.
Biden is now looking to negotiate limits on who may receive payments, once they go out.
"Biden has publicly expressed willingness to negotiate the stimulus payments, which under Democrats’ current plans would begin to diminish at $75,000 for individuals and couples making $150,000 a year," The Washington Post reported.
"Biden is also aiming to provide $1,400 per every adult and child under that threshold, on top of the $600 per adult and child approved by Congress in December.
"One proposal discussed by senior Democrats includes lowering the threshold for the payments to begin phasing out above $50,000 for single taxpayers, $75,000 for people who file as the heads of households, and $100,000 for married couples, according to two people granted anonymity to discuss internal planning.
"These people stress that the conversations are fluid and legislation has not been finalized."
The Biden administration is reportedly not considering lowering the payments below $1,400, however.
Even that number is causing problems for Biden from within his own party.
“Biden unveiled the $1.9 trillion package on [January 11] that includes an additional $1,400 stimulus payment to many taxpayers and their dependents,” CNBC reported last month.
"The incoming president says the payments will top off the second round of $600 checks which were guaranteed at the end of 2020, bringing the total to $2,000 per person.
“But some critics of Biden’s new plan, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), say that Democrats need to fulfill their campaign promise and provide full $2,000 payments.”
The Washington Post noted that during the Senate runoffs in Georgia last month that “Biden vowed $2,000 stimulus payments would be sent ‘immediately’ if the two Democrat candidates won, which they did following a disastrous showing by the Republican Party."
Speaking to voters, Biden said at the time:
“Their election will put an end to the block in Washington — that $2,000 stimulus check — that money would go out the door immediately, to help people who are in real trouble.
“Think about what it will mean to your lives — putting food on the table, paying rent.”
Biden is also facing pressure for saying that the payments would “go out the door immediately.”
Sen. Schumer has indicated that it might not happen till the middle of March—which would be at least six weeks into the Biden administration.
Rosemary G. Boeglin, a White House spokeswoman, said in a statement this week:
“The President remains committed to finishing the job on delivering $2,000 in direct relief to Americans who are struggling to make ends meet during this crisis.”