A third stimulus check for Americans still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic seems almost guaranteed as Congress and the Biden administration move forward with passing another emergency relief package.
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But the size of the payment is still unclear: While President Biden outlined a $1.9 trillion measure that includes a $1,400 check for individuals, a coalition of more moderate Republicans released a counterproposal on Monday calling for $1,000 checks.
Under the GOP offer, individuals earning up to $40,000 per year would be eligible to receive the full $1,000. The payments would be tapered for higher earners and phased out entirely for individuals who earn more than $50,000 annually. For couples who file jointly, the checks would begin phasing out at $80,000 and would be capped at $100,000.
Children and adults who qualify as dependents would be eligible to receive an extra $500, meaning that a family of five could receive as much as $3,500 through the proposal.
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The checks would cost an estimated $220 billion, according to a draft released by the group of 10 Republicans on Monday.
The measure, roughly one-third of the $1.9 trillion proposal outlined by Biden at the beginning of January, also includes $300 a week in supplemental unemployment benefits through June, $50 billion for small businesses including an additional $40 billion through the Paycheck Protection Program and $160 billion to accelerate vaccine distribution and COVID-19 testing.
Though many concede that another round of emergency aid is needed, the majority of Republican lawmakers have criticized the size and scope of Biden’s $1.9 trillion measure, arguing that it’s too expensive and comes too soon on the heels of the $900 billion aid package that Congress passed in December.
Biden invited the 10 senators, led by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, to the White House on Monday evening for a lengthy meeting on the next aid package. Collins said the discussion had been a “very good exchange of views,” though “I wouldn’t say that we came together on a package tonight.”
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Biden and the senators agreed to continue their discussions, she said.
in addition to a $1,400 stimulus check, Democrats’ bill is expected to include an extension of supplemental unemployment benefits at $400 a week through September, $350 billion in funding for state and local governments and $20 billion for vaccine distribution. It would also raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, in addition to a number of other provisions.
The Biden proposal did not specify the eligibility requirements for the stimulus money, but indicated they were open to discussing it.
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