Senate

Senate coronavirus bill lowers cutoffs for stimulus checks

Senate Democrats have struck a deal to lower the income cut off for receiving a stimulus payment as part of the coronavirus bill, a Democratic aide confirmed to The Hill.

The decision, which speeds up the phasing out of checks, reflects a demand from moderates to curb the ability of high-income earners to receive the stimulus payments.

Under the agreement, individuals who make up to $75,000 per year or couples who make up to $150,000 per year will still receive a $1,400 check.

But the Senate bill, which is expected to be unveiled as soon as Wednesday, significantly reduces the income window for receiving a partial check.

The checks would phase out completely at an income threshold of $80,000 for individuals under the Senate deal, compared to $100,000 under the House bill.

For couples, the checks would phase out completely at an income threshold of $160,000 under the Senate deal, compared to $200,000 for the House bill.

A White House spokesperson declined to comment on the changes. President Biden spoke with the caucus about the coronavirus bill on Tuesday, but didn't delve into policy specifics and didn't take questions.

While the Senate bill changes the checks, it's expected to keep the House-passed $400 per week unemployment payment. Those payments would go through August.

There had been a push by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to lower the payments to $300 per week, but the idea sparked broad opposition in the Senate Democratic Caucus.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) also wanted to extend the $400 per week payment into September.

Both provisions could still face additional changes as part of an hours-long vote-a-rama, where any senator who wants to offer an amendment will be able to do so. 

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