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After the U.S. House of Representatives approved President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus deal and sent it to the Senate, White House officials indicated Biden is open to lowering the income threshold for direct payments.
The legislation passed by the House last week includes $1,400 direct payments for individuals making up to $75,000 a year and married couples earning up to $150,000 a year. The new plan has a faster phase-out than in previous proposals, capping payments at $100,000 for individuals and $200,000 for couples.
The bill would also expand the child tax credit for couples to $3,600 per child under age 6 and $3,000 for children ages six to 17. Currently, families get $2,000 per child under age 17.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Fox News Sunday that Biden is willing to lower the maximum income for stimulus check eligibility to “ensure they hit the Americans who need that help the most.” But Psaki reiterated that Biden is unwilling to lower the size of the checks from $1,400.
Some Republicans have balked at the cost of the package and called for more “targeted” relief for families during the pandemic by lowering the income threshold requirements for direct payments. A group of 10 Republican senators released a counteroffer last month that would provide $1,000 stimulus checks for individuals making up to $40,000 a year and phase them out completely when income reaches $50,000.
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