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Fetterman: Lawmakers backing reduced stimulus check eligibility 'out of touch'

Fetterman: Lawmakers backing reduced stimulus check eligibility 'out of touch'
© Ben Kamisar

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), a candidate for the state’s open Senate seat in 2022, on Wednesday criticized reports that the Senate’s version of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package will limit eligibility for $1,400 stimulus checks.

“At a time when Americans are at risk of getting evicted, businesses are going under, and millions are out of work, the real risk isn’t doing too much – it’s doing too little,” Fetterman said in a statement. "In 2017 the Senate had no problem giving trillions of dollars in tax cuts to CEOs, but now Senators are concerned that too many working people would be getting $1,400 checks.”

“This is ridiculous. Working people in Pennsylvania and across the country need stimulus checks and relief now, and it's the Senate's job to make sure that happens,” the lieutenant governor added. “If you’re a Senator who’s worried that the federal government might be doing too much to help working people in the middle of this crisis, then I’ve got news for you: you’re out of touch.”

A deal reached by Senate Democrats Wednesday would keep the income threshold for the full $1,400 direct payments, putting the threshold at $75,000 a year for individuals and $150,000 a year for couples. But it reduces the income window for a partial check, phasing them out completely at $80,000 for individuals compared to $100,000 in the House version.

Fetterman announced earlier this year that he will seek the Democratic nomination for Pennsylvania’s Senate seat in 2022, currently held by retiring Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeySasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote Philly GOP commissioner on censures: 'I would suggest they censure Republican elected officials who are lying' Toomey censured by several Pennsylvania county GOP committees over impeachment vote MORE (R-Pa.). Other Democratic contenders for the nomination include former Brighton, Ala., Mayor Brandaun Dean, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta and former Norristown borough council president John McGuigan.