Senate bill will narrow income eligibility for $1,400 stimulus checks

President Joe Biden has agreed to a compromise with moderate...

Posted: Mar 3, 2021 1:07 PM
Updated: Mar 4, 2021 10:00 AM

President Joe Biden has agreed to a compromise with moderate Democrats to narrow the income eligibility for the next round of $1,400 stimulus checks that are included in a bill the Senate is expected to take up this week, a Democratic source told CNN Wednesday.

That means 7 million fewer families will receive a partial payment than would have under the House version of the bill, according to an estimate from the Penn Wharton Budget Model. The new proposal will completely cut off those who earn more than $160,000 a year and individuals who earn more than $80,000 a year.

The House legislation, which passed Saturday, set the income caps at $200,000 for couples and $100,000 for individuals.

But the same households will receive the full payment of $1,400 per person, including children. Individuals earning less than $75,000 and couples earning less than $150,000 will -- just as in the House bill. Then, the payments will phase out faster for those earning more.

Unlike the previous two rounds, adult dependents -- including college students -- are expected to be eligible for the payments.

The House bill had already narrowed the eligibility compared earlier rounds of stimulus payments. It still would have sent money to more than 93% of tax filers, according to estimates from both the Penn Wharton Budget Model and the nonpartisan Tax Foundation. The Senate version will deliver money to about 90% of families.

What's already been paid out

The federal government sent about 160 million payments worth up to $1,200 per person last year, reaching about 94% of families. Some households that earned more than $200,000 a year were eligible, depending on how many children they had.

In January, a second round of checks worth up to $600 were delivered to about 158 million households, or 92% of families. They phased out a little faster because the amount was smaller. The new round included in the current bill is designed to top off the $600 checks so that individuals receive a total of $2,000 this year.

The first round of payments that went out last year got money into people's pockets extremely fast, partly because there weren't a lot of eligibility requirements to slow down the delivery process. The trade off was that some of the money went to people who didn't need it to pay their bills or make rent.

Targeting payments

Some economists agree that new direct payments should be more targeted, arguing that the money that has gone to individuals not financially hurt by the pandemic does little to help the economy.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a key moderate Democrat, said Wednesday he is 'very pleased' with changes being made to the Covid relief bill, strongly signaling he's ready to vote for the bill although stopping short of directly saying so. He had pushed to make the stimulus payments more targeted.

Senate Democratic leaders are set to move the bill forward this week but are continuing to finalize the text. With a 50-50 party split, they will need the support of the entire caucus.

The stimulus payments are just one part of a sweeping $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill backed by Biden that also includes a federal boost to unemployment benefits, aid for small businesses, and money for vaccine development and testing.

This story has been updated with additional background.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 556381

Reported Deaths: 7098
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1158471682
Ramsey47939856
Dakota42586422
Anoka38655415
Washington24993274
Stearns21052219
St. Louis16821298
Scott16013117
Wright14818127
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Carver984945
Clay783490
Rice7649101
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Kandiyohi628181
Crow Wing618186
Chisago550650
Otter Tail543973
Benton532297
Mower451132
Goodhue444172
Douglas442870
Winona438649
Nobles400648
Morrison396059
McLeod395255
Isanti378259
Itasca373653
Beltrami372957
Polk366067
Steele364014
Becker356048
Lyon348648
Carlton329452
Freeborn328129
Pine312321
Nicollet307542
Brown294739
Mille Lacs282150
Le Sueur270822
Todd268830
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Meeker237437
Waseca231421
Martin213429
Wabasha19953
Roseau197818
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Hubbard172341
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Redwood166335
Houston162614
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Rock123019
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Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 358085

Reported Deaths: 5821
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk56023604
Linn20310330
Scott19111234
Black Hawk15560306
Woodbury14906221
Johnson1405881
Dubuque13162202
Dallas1090196
Pottawattamie10763162
Story1031547
Warren555686
Clinton537790
Cerro Gordo522986
Webster508391
Sioux506673
Marshall477274
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Wapello4254120
Buena Vista421940
Jasper407670
Plymouth397479
Lee368555
Marion354575
Jones293155
Henry286337
Bremer279360
Carroll279351
Crawford261840
Boone258833
Benton250355
Washington249550
Dickinson242343
Mahaska224850
Jackson218242
Kossuth213063
Clay211225
Tama206671
Delaware203039
Winneshiek194433
Page190421
Buchanan188831
Cedar184423
Fayette183041
Wright180435
Hardin179942
Hamilton178149
Harrison176473
Clayton167155
Butler162534
Mills158720
Cherokee157138
Floyd155442
Lyon154841
Madison154119
Poweshiek152733
Allamakee149151
Iowa145524
Hancock143734
Winnebago136131
Grundy135332
Cass134654
Calhoun133211
Jefferson131035
Emmet128740
Shelby128637
Sac127319
Louisa127249
Appanoose126647
Mitchell125341
Union124132
Chickasaw122615
Humboldt118326
Guthrie117929
Franklin112821
Palo Alto111022
Howard102822
Montgomery100637
Unassigned10050
Clarke98323
Keokuk94730
Monroe94128
Ida89733
Adair84532
Pocahontas83721
Monona81230
Davis79924
Greene76710
Osceola75516
Lucas74923
Worth7098
Taylor65312
Fremont6139
Decatur5899
Van Buren55518
Ringgold53623
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