President Joe Biden is standing firm on the idea of another round of COVID-19 stimulus checks, this time totaling $1,400 for qualifying Americans.
Vice President Kamala Harris cast the tie-breaking vote to get a $1.9 trillion budget bill through Congress that sets the stage for Biden’s stimulus relief proposal – without any Republican support in the U.S. Senate.
This comes after months of wrangling between Democrats and President Donald Trump before the inauguration, with immovable gridlock.
According to CNBC, Biden said on February 5, “I’m not cutting the size of the checks,” Biden said. “They’re going to be $1,400. Period. That’s what the American people were promised.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Biden Regards $1,400 Checks as a Foundational Promise
According to the Associated Press, Biden made it clear where he stands on $1,400 stimulus checks, telling Democratic that they are what AP called a “foundational promise to voters.”
“I’m not going to start my administration by breaking a promise to the American people,” Biden said, according to AP, which added that he might be willing to more “narrowly” target who gets the checks and is not standing as firmly on the overall pricetag of the relief plan.
Biden also said earlier in the week, according to the Hill, “We can’t walk away from an additional $1,400 in direct checks that we proposed because the people need them. We can better target them,” he said, “but I’m not going to start my administration by breaking a promise to the American people.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki later explained what Biden meant by better targeting, saying, “Further targeting means not the size of the check, it means the income level of people who receive the check and that’s something that has been under discussion. There hasn’t been a conclusion but certainly he’s open to having that discussion.”
The $1,400 would be in addition to the $600 approved in December. It’s unclear whether these checks would be fast tracked like the last ones and when they would land in people’s accounts, if approved.
“I see enormous pain in this country,” Biden said, when pushing for the stimulus relief, according to The New York Times.
Biden Doesn’t Want People Earning More Than $300,000 to Get a ‘Windfall’
Biden made it clear that he wants income limits on who qualifies for the stimulus checks.
He said he wanted to make sure that “folks making $300,000 don’t get any windfall,” according to CNBC. That’s well over the income limits in the first round of stimulus checks, though, so it’s likely that any cut off would be a lot lower than that amount.
The specific guidelines for who would qualify for the additional $1,400 checks have not yet been announced.
According to Cnet, there was a move by some moderate Republicans for a smaller check, but Biden appeared to put the kibosh on that idea’s momentum. That group of senators was proposing the notion of additional $1,000 checks.
According to the Hill, there are still issues to iron out, with one Democrat, Joe Manchin, opposing a minimum wage hike that Democrats want to tuck inside the bill.
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