March 21, 2021 - Douglas Myser

Democrats narrow who gets $1400 stimulus. Senate Democratic leaders and President Biden have agreed to more narrowly target which Americans would be eligible for a $1400 stimulus payment in the latest COVID-19 relief measure. TO ease the bill's way with moderate Senate Democrats, the proposed new version allows single filers with annual income under $75,000 to receive the full amount, phasing it out entirely for those with incomes of $80,000 and higher. Joint filers with annual incomes of less than $150,000 would each receive the full amount, but those above $160,000 would get no check. Those filing as a head of household who make less than $112,500 will get the full amount, phasing out at $120,000. Tens of millions of Americans are still expected to get a check, but fewer will receive one than under the version passed last week by the House. Under the House bill, payments phased out at $100,000 for individuals, $200,000 for couples and $150,000 for heads of household. "I think it's an appropriate way of bringing this to a successful conclusion," said Sen. Michael Bennet (D_Colo.). Not every Democrat was immediately on board with  the proposed change. Democrats narrow who gets $1400 stimulus.

"People desperately need resources, and we need to get these checks out the door," said Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash). White House Press Secretary Jan Psaki said that Biden would have preferred the higher income threshold in the House bill, but understand that compromise is needed. Senate Democrats were expected to present their final version of the $1.9 trillion economic bill later Wednesday evening, but were still waiting on cost estimates, needed before they could proceed. Presenting the bill to the Senate will kick off a marathon slog against Republican opposition to approve the bill and send it back to the House by next week. Republicans appear resigned that they lack the votes to block the package and are pledging to use every tactic at their disposal to delay it. As part of the new proposal Democrats would maintain the $400 weekly federal unemployment supplement Biden requested and the House passed.