Yellen focuses on $60,000 threshold for stimulus checks

Treasury Secretary Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenOn The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Schumer eyeing Build Back Better vote as soon as week of Dec. 13 Trump: McConnell must use debt limit to crush Biden agenda MORE said Sunday that she thought income levels identified by conservative Democratic senators to restrict which Americans receive direct payments under the Biden administration's COVID-19 aid package were too low.

Speaking with CNN's Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperOmar calls out Boebert over anti-Muslim remarks, denies Capitol incident took place Republican Rep. Upton unsure if he'll run again Bass calls 'Black pastors' comment during Arbery trial 'despicable' MORE on "State of the Union," Yellen indicated that she thought individual Americans earning $60,000 per year ought to be eligible for the direct payments, a higher figure than the one identified by senators such as Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Manchin seeks 'adjustments' to spending plan Pence-linked group launches 0K ad campaign in West Virginia praising Manchin Democrats push tax credits to bolster clean energy MORE (D-W.Va.), who has called for the payments to phase out at the $50,000-per-year income level.

"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, [President Biden] thinks, and I would certainly agree, that it's appropriate for people there to get support," said Yellen.

Yellen went on to add that the White House is negotiating with Congress "to define what's fair" in terms of income level phaseouts for direct payments in a stimulus package, telling Tapper that struggling middle-class families "need help too."

"So, you definitely think higher than $50,000 per individual, but you're not necessarily willing to commit to $75,000, is what I'm hearing?" Tapper asked, referring to the level at which payments were phased out in the package passed in December.

"Yes," the secretary responded. "I think the details can be worked out. And the president is certainly willing to work with Congress to find a good structure for these payments.”

Senate Democrats have indicated that they are prepared to push through Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package without Republican support after a group of 10 Republican senators proposed a framework last week that totaled $600 billion, far less than Democrats have demanded.

Democratic leaders such as Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMcCarthy raised 0K after marathon speech Davis passes on bid for governor in Illinois, running for reelection to House Feehery: Why Democrats are now historically unpopular MORE (D-Calif.) have said that they expect the package to pass within two weeks.