Senate bill narrows who can receive $1,400 stimulus checks. Here’s who’s eligible
A third stimulus package is being discussed today, but a last-minute change to the aid package means about 7 million families may not receive a check for $ 1,400.
Initially, the $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package known as the American Rescue Plan included $ 1,400 checks for those earning an adjusted gross income of $ 75,000 or less or for couples who earn up to $ 150,000. The checks would expire as income increased, and individuals earning more than $ 100,000 a year and couples earning more than $ 200,000 a year would not receive a check at all. Eligible families would also receive $ 1,400 for each dependent claimed on a tax return.
The amendment to the bill comes after President Joe Biden struck a deal with moderate Democrats who wanted to cap the amount of direct payments. According to NBC's Kristin Welker, the compromise is necessary as no Republican is expected to support the bill. Under the new contract, individuals earning more than $ 80,000 per year and couples earning more than $ 160,000 per year would not receive payments.
According to Penn Wharton's budget model, this would mean that approximately 7 million families would not receive a stimulus check from the American Rescue Plan. According to CNBC, the Institute of Taxes and Economic Policy estimated that it would affect about 12 million adults and 4.6 million children in the country.
"That being said, it doesn't make any difference and it doesn't really make any difference to the bottom 60% of Americans who really need help," ITEP director of federal taxation Steve Wamhoff told CNBC. The institute told CNBC that approximately 280 million Americans would still be eligible for stimulus payments even under the tighter restrictions.
Related: Stephanie Ruhle explains five ways your taxes could be different in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first stimulus package, passed in March 2020, gave eligible adults $ 1,200 and $ 500 per eligible dependent. The second stimulus package, passed in December 2020, gave eligible adults $ 600 and eligible dependents the same amount.
The US bailout plan, like previous stimulus packages, includes more than just direct payments: According to the New York Times, the plan includes an expansion of expanded unemployment benefits, money for vaccination programs, $ 350 billion for state and local governments, and grants for small businesses.
The bill will probably go quickly: According to Welker, the bill has a "good chance of passing both chambers" if there are "no further major changes".
"The Democrats want to complete this by March 14th, when the COVID unemployment benefits (from previous economic stimulus packages) have been used up," Welker explained TODAY.
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