Millions of Americans grappling with the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic are patiently waiting on the status of a third stimulus check.
But while another direct payment seems all but inevitable, it seems that the income limits for eligibility are still being hammered out by officials.
The eligibility for a new stimulus check is being narrowed after a push from moderate Democratic lawmakers advocating for a more “targeted” bill, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
President Joe Biden agreed to the new income threshold, a source told the outlet.
On Saturday, House Democrats passed a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill. Under this plan, taxpayers earning up to $75,000 annually (or couples earning up to $150,000 per year) were eligible for the entire $1,400 payment. Per this version of the bill, the amount would begin to phase out, with taxpayers making between $75,000 up to $100,000 (or couples earning between $150,000 up to $200,000) being eligible only for a partial payment.
Amid internal deliberations, the qualifications for the phased-out payments has tightened up, with Biden and Democratic Senate leadership agreeing to an income range of $75,000 up to $80,000 per year for individuals.
This change means that Americans making between $80,000 to $100,000 per year (or couples making between $160,000 and $200,000 per year) would no longer be eligible for partial phased-out payments.
However, under this change, individuals earning up to $75,000 annually or couples earning up to $150,000 annually are still eligible for the full $1,4000 payment per individual.
The modified eligibility is made as lawmakers attempt to act quickly on the highly anticipated bill. In the past, Democrats reportedly considered a $50,000-per-year income threshold for new payments in the massive package, though this tightened limit did not stick.
Lawmakers did, however, recently nix a provision for a $15-per-hour minimum wage, which was opposed by opposed by two Democratic senators — Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who has remarked that she believes the bill isn’t related to the pandemic, and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who feels that an $11 minimum wage is more appropriate for his state.