Senate negotiates changes to COVID-19 relief
People who make $80,000 a year or more would not receive $1,400 stimulus checks from the government under a compromise accepted by Senate Democrats. The past two economic relief payments shrank incrementally for taxpayers with annual incomes between $75,000 and $87,000, or $150,000 and $174,000 for a couple. The new proposal would lower the upper threshold for receiving any payment. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said the change satisfied concerns he had about the enormous price tag for the bill.
How much will it cost now? It’s unclear how much the change will reduce the $1.9 trillion package. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget calculated the bill contains $312 billion in funds for policies not directly related to the pandemic. Rulings by the Senate parliamentarian struck some items such as increasing the federal minimum wage and extending a subway in San Jose, Calif. Senators removed another unpopular measure to rehab a bridge between Canada and the United States in upstate New York. But those items represented a fraction of the overall cost of the bill. The Senate is expected to begin floor debate and vote on the legislation this week; then it will have to reconcile its changes with the House before sending the bill to the president.
Dig deeper: Read Harvest Prude’s report in The Stew about how the stimulus package could hurt the economy in the long run.
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