Former Sanders press secretary: Lowering income threshold for stimulus checks would undermine Biden administration’s COVID-19 response


Briahna Joy Gray, former press secretary for Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) 2020 presidential campaign, on Wednesday said that top Democratic lawmakers are “undermining the COVID response” by circulating proposals to lower the income threshold for those eligible to receive COVID-19 stimulus checks.

In an interview on Hill.TV’s “Rising,” Gray commented on President Biden’s negotiations with lawmakers on his proposed $1.9 trillion health and economic relief package, called the American Rescue Plan. 

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that one proposal from senior Democrats includes lowering the eligibility threshold for the payments to an income of $50,000 for single taxpayers. The relief package signed by Congress late last year had the limit at $75,000 in order for individuals to be eligible for the $600 check. 

What you’re talking about here is going from a plan that would cover 95 percent of Americans, to a plan that would cover 70 percent of Americans,” Gray, who also co-hosts the “Bad Faith” podcast, said Wednesday. 

She went on to say, “The point of these stimulus checks is, yes, to keep people economically afloat while businesses, jobs have been lost, businesses have been shut down because of COVID, but also to incentivize people to stay home so that we can get COVID under control faster and reopen the economy faster.” 

Gray argued that the proposal would mean, “really undermining the COVID response, which of course was supposed to be one of the main reasons we wanted to elect Joe Biden, because he understood science and hopefully understood the economics that are required to follow the scientific requirement to get people to stay home and stay safe until the pandemic is under control.” 

Watch part of Gray’s interview above.

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