Stimulus: Rubio calls on Biden to increase direct payments to $2,000 'on the first day of your presidency'
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) called on President-elect Joe Biden to enact "stand-alone legislation" to increase stimulus checks from $ 600 to $ 2,000 immediately after he took office.
“It would send a strong message to the American people if, on the first day of your presidency, you called on the House and Senate to pass laws to you to limit payments for the direct economic impact to Americans struggling with the pandemic , from $ 600 to $ 2,000, "he wrote in a letter to Biden first reported by Axios.
Biden has repeatedly stated that he will support the $ 2,000 checks, but he also supports the raise, which is to be included in a comprehensive package that will raise more money for vaccine distribution, aid to small businesses, funding for schools as well as government and local aid as opposed to individual aid includes legislation.
"We're going to propose a whole package," Biden said last week. "The price will be high."
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) (L) stands next to his wife Jeanette Rubio as he attends a reenactment of his swearing-in ceremony by Vice President Joe Biden in the Old Senate Chamber in the U.S. Capitol in Washington January 5, 2011 REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst
GOP opposition to $ 2,000 stimulus
Other GOP politicians have opposed $ 2,000 checks, arguing that it would mean too much direct aid to wealthy Americans. In late December, when it was controlled by the GOP, the Senate blocked a measure to increase direct payments.
"Too often, popular and necessary legislation is used as a lever to secure passage for guidelines that cannot of their own accord," Rubio wrote. "Please do not allow direct payments to the American people to be drawn into the normal political games by adding a wish-list to this legislation of left-wing or other unrelated priorities."
The $ 2,000 stimulus check legislation passed by the Democratically controlled House in December would cost around $ 464 billion, according to the Joint Tax Committee, compared to an estimated $ 166 billion for the $ 600 stimulus checks.
If passed, the legislation would not only increase the payment amount, but also extend entitlement for the dependent bonus to relatives of all ages. Currently, only parents and legal guardians of relatives under the age of 17 receive the bonus.
It would also mean a huge increase in incomes for America's poorest families. The 20% of households with the lowest incomes would increase their annual income by 29% if Congress passes the provision of the CASH Act, the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) found.
Despite the high price tag and the associated increase in the deficit, the determination was supported by President Trump, who for three days signed the latest $ 900 billion stimulus agreement to increase payments and was one of its supporters.
Read more: What to do if you haven't received your stimulus check
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Denitsa is a writer for Yahoo Finance and Cashay, a new personal finance website. Follow her on Twitter @denitsa_tsekova.
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