February 25, 2021

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Sanders criticizes Democrats willing to pare down eligibility for stimulus checks | TheHill – The Hill

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Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders criticizes Democrats willing to pare down eligibility for stimulus checks Sunday shows preview: Budget resolution clears path for .9 trillion stimulus; Senate gears up for impeachment trial The Memo: Bad jobs report boosts Biden stimulus case MORE (I-Vt.) on Saturday hit fellow Democrats who he says are looking to lower the eligibility thresholds for coronavirus stimulus checks. 

The chairman of the Senate Budget Committee tweeted Saturday evening that it was “unbelievable” that there were some Democrats “who want to lower the income eligibility for direct payments from $75,000 to $50,000 for individuals, and $150,000 to $100,000 for couples.” 

“In other words, working class people who got checks from Trump would not get them from Biden,” the Vermont senator tweeted from his personal account. “Brilliant!”

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In another tweet minutes later, Sanders posted from his Senate account that he “strongly” opposes lowering the eligibility threshold, adding, “In these difficult times, ALL working class people deserve the full $1,400.” 

“Last I heard, someone making $55,000 a year is not ‘rich,’” Sanders added. 

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Several Twitter users indicated support for Sanders’ remarks, including fellow prgressive, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSanders criticizes Democrats willing to pare down eligibility for stimulus checks Defiant Greene attacks media, dodges questions on past remarks Ocasio-Cortez thanks Capitol Police amid criticism of her riot experience MORE (D-N.Y.), who retweeted Sanders’ post, writing, “It would be outrageous if we ran on giving more relief and ended up doing the opposite.”

Under President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan, stimulus checks have been set at $1,400, though the proposal kept the structure of phasing out the payments for individuals who made more than $75,000 or couples who made more than $150,000. 

However, senators in recent days have been discussing making changes to the phase-out structure of the next round of stimulus checks amid broader concern that high-income earners would be eligible for payments unless Congress makes changes.

The Washington Post first reported Tuesday that some senior Democrats had been discussing a proposal to begin phasing out stimulus checks for those who earn above $50,000 for single taxpayers, $75,000 for people who file as the heads of households and $100,000 for married couples. 

On Thursday, the Senate voted 99-1 on an amendment from Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSanders criticizes Democrats willing to pare down eligibility for stimulus checks The Memo: Bad jobs report boosts Biden stimulus case Biden expects minimum wage increase will be dropped from final relief bill MORE (D-W.Va.) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSanders criticizes Democrats willing to pare down eligibility for stimulus checks Biden doubles down on normal at White House The Memo: Bad jobs report boosts Biden stimulus case MORE (R-Maine) related to “targeting” the checks and making sure that “upper-income taxpayers are not eligible.”

“I don’t think a single person on this floor would disagree to target the relief to our neighbors who are struggling to pay rent and put food on the table,” Manchin said ahead of the vote. 

Collins added, “Do we want stimulus checks to go to households with family incomes of $300,000 or do we want to target the assistance to struggling families who need the help and provide a boost for the economy?” 

Sanders said in his own remarks before the vote that no one supported families with incomes of $300,000 per year getting a check, adding that lawmakers should back direct assistance for individuals who make up to $75,000 or couples who make up to $150,000. 

The Hill has reached out to Manchin, as well as Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerOver 60 progressive groups urge Schumer to nix filibuster Booker reintroduces bill to give all newborns ,000 savings accounts Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez, Blumenauer aim to require Biden to declare climate emergency  MORE (D-N.Y.), for comment on Sanders’s Saturday tweets.

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