March 7, 2021

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Stimulus checks: Eligibility for $1,400 payments likely to change –

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President Joe Biden is doubling down on the amount of the next coronavirus stimulus check even as administration officials try to hammer out exactly who would receive a payment.

Speaking at a press conference Friday, Biden said his administration remains committed to $1,400 stimulus checks as part of its $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. That amount, when coupled with the $600 payments approved in December, would bring the total of recent relief to $2,000, am amount backed by many in Congress.

“I’m not cutting the size of the checks,” Biden said. “They’re going to be $1,400 — period. That’s what the American people were promised.”

What remains unclear is who will be eligible to receive a stimulus payment. The president’s initial proposal ensured single people earning up to $75,000 and married couples earning up to $150,000 were eligible for a full payments. Biden has indicated he’s open to negotiating eligibility requirements, however, something echoed by new Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union, Yellen indicated she believed Americans earning $60,000 a year should be eligible for the full amount of direct payments. That amount is roughly $10,000 more than a figure being discussed by Republicans and conservative Democrats who are pushing for a “targeted” round of payments with income capped at $50,000.

“If you think about an elementary school teacher or a policeman making $60,000 a year and faced with children who are out of school and people who may have had to withdraw from the labor force in order to take care of them and many extra burdens, the president thinks, and I would certainly agree, that it’s appropriate for people there to get support,” Yellen said.

“President Biden is certainly willing to work with members of Congress to define what’s fair and he wouldn’t want to see a household making over $300,000 receive these payments,” she added.

While payment details continue to be refined, the Democrat-controlled Congress is moving ahead with passing Biden’s overall package.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated last week she aims to have the entire stimulus package, including the direct payments, passed by the end of February.

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