Biden 'comfortable' cutting off stimulus funds for Americans making more than $80,000

Biden 'comfortable' cutting off stimulus funds for Americans making more than $80,000

Notably, however, the senators are not asking to include the recurring payments and unemployment in the $1.9-trillion economic aid bill now before the Senate, which includes a one-time $1,400 direct payment for many Americans.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., has repeatedly argued the payments need to be better targeted and reportedly called for the checks to begin phasing out for individuals earning more than $50,000.

News is citing sources that say the agreement would allow for full $1,400 payments for individuals earning up to $75,000 with amounts decreasing incrementally above that income level. However, the benefit would disappear altogether for individuals earning more than $80,000 annually and couples earning more than $160,000.

"We've reserved time in his schedule to ensure that he can be engaged, roll up his sleeves, and be personally involved in making phone calls, having more Zoom meetings, potentially having people here to the Oval Office to get this across the finish line", White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.

But Biden and party leaders stood firm and will retain the $400 weekly emergency jobless benefits. "Of course there will be ongoing discussions".

Almost two dozen House Democrats - including Reps. So far, none have explicitly weighed in on the bill.

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Since the current relief package is being considered by the Senate under special rules that make passage easier for Democrats, prospects for recurring checks and automatically extended unemployment benefits appear dim given opposition from Republicans and even some moderate Democrats.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, Oregon Democrat, said Tuesday that he thought there was growing momentum to expand on the House package and extend the $400-per-week boost into September. "The Democrats had a choice". He dismissed criticism that the economy has improved from the worst periods of previous year. "Just because the numbers are not as bad as they were doesn't mean that we don't need a continued strong push to get us out of this ditch and go upward and forward".

Lawmakers are now awaiting a score from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office to ensure the legislation can be passed under Senate reconciliation rules. After those 20 hours expire, the Senate starts another series of unlimited amendments.

The senators suggested that keeping the benefits at a higher level could discourage laid-off workers from returning to jobs, just as more states loosen coronavirus-related business restrictions. I know from writing about this topic before that there are a number of readers here who fall under the category of, "Yes, we earn a little more than $75,000 a year, but $1,400 would be really meaningful in my situation", or where $5,600 would be hugely impactful for a family of four that earns $165,000 a year.

Psaki said that neither Biden nor Vice President Kamala Harris, who presides over the Senate and would cast the tie-breaking vote if every Democrat supports the legislation and every Republican opposes it, would overrule the parliamentarian. There's no time limit on a vote-a-rama, which can last into the early hours of the morning or overnight, until opposing senators tire and give up.

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