Biden Agrees to Lower Income Caps For Stimulus Payments

The legislation, which Democrats hope to push through the Senate by the weekend, remains among the largest federal relief packages in modern American history. It would deliver hundreds of billions of dollars for vaccine distribution, hospitals, state and local governments and families struggling to recover from the economic toll of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We cannot go through the situation we did back in 2009, where the stimulus wasn’t strong enough and we stayed in recession for years,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, said on Wednesday. The legislation, he added, “will be the single largest anti-poverty bill in recent history.”

But in recent days, it has narrowed to accommodate the moderates’ concerns as well as the arcane rules of the Senate.

Under the new proposal blessed by Mr. Biden, individuals earning more than $80,000 and households with incomes exceeding $160,000 would be disqualified from receiving stimulus checks. The caps are $20,000 lower than they were in the last round, wiping out payments for millions of Americans.

The plan would send $1,400 checks to individuals earning up to $75,000, single parents with children earning $112,500 and couples making $150,000, with the amount gradually falling for people with larger incomes. The payment would disappear altogether for those over the cap of $80,000 for individuals, $120,000 for single parents and $160,000 for couples. Mr. Biden’s original proposal, which passed the House over the weekend, would have set the cap at $100,000 for individuals, $150,000 for single parents and $200,000 for couples.

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