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Wyden to offer bill to shield $1,400 checks from private debt collectors

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOvernight Health Care: Biden sets goal of at least one shot to 70 percent of adults by July 4 | White House to shift how it distributes unallocated vaccines to states Pallone commits to using 'whatever vehicle I can' to pass Democrats' drug pricing bill Access to mental health services dwindled as pandemic need strained providers: GAO report MORE (D-Ore.) said Tuesday that he plans to introduce legislation to prevent the $1,400 direct payments in Democrats' coronavirus relief package from being seized by private debt collectors.

"While Democrats intend to protect the third payment from private debt collectors, Senate rules did not allow us to include that protection in the American Rescue Plan," Wyden said in a statement. "I will be introducing standalone legislation to ensure families receive their much-needed relief payments."

Direct payments of up to $1,400 per person are a key part of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package that passed the Senate over the weekend. Democrats say the payments will help people who are struggling financially because of the pandemic cover important expenses.

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The Senate passed the coronavirus relief package on Saturday using the budget reconciliation process so that the chamber could approve the measure with a simple majority vote. Under Senate rules, reconciliation bills can't include provisions that don't have an impact on the federal budget.

The House is expected to pass the relief package on Wednesday, and President BidenJoe BidenCaitlyn Jenner on Hannity touts Trump: 'He was a disruptor' Argentina launches 'Green Mondays' campaign to cut greenhouse gases On The Money: Federal judge vacates CDC's eviction moratorium | Biden says he's open to compromise on corporate tax rate | Treasury unsure of how long it can stave off default without debt limit hike MORE is expected to sign it shortly thereafter.

Wyden said he hopes that his forthcoming bill to prevent private debt collectors from seizing any $1,400 direct payments will get bipartisan support.

"Last year, Democrats and Republicans joined together to shield previous relief payments, and I would hope that Senate Republicans again support ensuring families receive the $1,400 they need to pay rent and buy groceries," he said.