GOP coronavirus plan to include $1,200 stimulus check for some individuals

A forthcoming Senate Republican coronavirus proposal will mirror a March stimulus bill that included a one-time $1,200 stimulus check for some Americans, according to a top negotiator.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, asked how the direct payments will be structured in the soon-to-be-released GOP bill, said it would be exactly the same as the language in the $2.2 trillion bill signed into law in late March.

“We’re talking about the same provision as last time, so our proposal is the exact same proposal as last time,” Mnuchin told reporters about what Republicans will propose in the bill.

The March bill provided a one-time $1,200 check to Americans who made up to $75,000 per year. The amount of the check was scaled down until it hit an income level of $99,000 per year, when it was phased out altogether.

The decision to stick to the March formula is a shift from over the recess, when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) appeared to signal that while Republicans would support another round of checks, the next round would include a lower income cap of around $40,000.

“I think the people that have been hit the hardest are people who make about $40,000 or less. Many of them work in the hospitality industry. … That could well be a part of it,” McConnell told reporters in Kentucky during the two-week recess.

Republicans have said they want the fifth coronavirus proposal to be more targeted to those hit hardest by the spread of the coronavirus, which has devastated the economy as swaths of business scaled back or closed altogether.

Democrats have opposed lowering the income cap.

The House-passed coronavirus bill in May provided a $1,200 check for those making up to $75,000. But it increased the payment per child to $1,200 per dependent up to three dependents. The March coronavirus bill provided $500 per child.

“I think families making over $40,000 probably need assistance … depending on their family situation,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said.

Though McConnell talked about a lower income cap while traveling around Kentucky, he declined to talk details when asked by reporters this week.

“We’ll lay out the specifics. I’m going to introduce a bill in the next few days that is a starting place that enjoys fairly significant support among Republican senators, probably not everyone. And, at that point, we’ll be more specific about how to allocate. But we do envision direct checks again,” he said on Tuesday.

Tags Coronavirus relief bill COVID-19 Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi Steven Mnuchin stimulus checks Unemployment
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