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CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

Third stimulus check: Why do some progressives want payments of $1,400?

As the House prepares to vote on President Biden's American Rescue Plan, leading Democrats are sticking to the proposal's $1,400 direct payments.

Third stimulus check: Why do some progressives want payments of $1,400?

Democrats in the House of Representatives are hoping for swift passage of President Joe Biden’s stimulus bill when it is officially tabled in the chamber on Monday. The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan includes a third stimulus check and is designed to offer immediate relief to those who have been hit hardest by the covid-19 pandemic.

The stimulus bill has faced stiff opposition from the Republicans in recent weeks but the Democrats should have few problems passing the package in the House, a chamber where they hold a comfortable majority.

In fact, Rep. Ted Lieu of California revealed on Twitter that he expects the proposal to be passed before the end of the week, which could see the stimulus checks begin distribution in mid-March.

Lawmakers unable to find bipartisan solution for stimulus bill

The House prepares to vote on a bill that has proved to be extremely controversial, with the two parties around a trillion dollars apart in their most recent stimulus bill proposals. Bipartisan talks stalled in early February with the two sides unable to find a compromise.

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchison of Arkansas said Biden should have been more open to negotiate with GOP, and that the total cost of the package should have been reduced:

“It needs to be more targeted,” he said. “My message is that I would have preferred it to be done in a bipartisan way. And I think that it could be trimmed back.”

However as the Democrats control both Houses of Congress, as well as the White House, they will be able to push through a more generous package than would otherwise have been achievable. Included in that is the third round of stimulus checks, which will be worth up to $1,400 per person and available to anyone earning less than $75,000, or $150,000 for couples who file jointly.

Progressives reaffirm support for $1,400 stimulus checks

There had been some calls for the eligibility requirements to be tightened in comparison to previous rounds of payment to make the funding more targeted. But Rep. Pamila Jayapal, who serves as chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, thinks otherwise and believes the Democrats would be making a mistake to cut the support:

“If you raise those income thresholds, you’re going to cut out 40 million Americans who got a relief check under Donald Trump who won’t get a relief check under Joe Biden,” Jayapal told CNN’s State of the Union. “That doesn’t make any political sense to me.”

“We just have people who are suffering, food banks with lines going around the block across the country,” Jayapal said. “We need to get money in people’s pockets. And this is the quickest way to do that.”

It seems like the Democrats are now set on doing just that and the $1,400 stimulus checks will definitely be included in the final package that is signed into law. They hope to have the bill signed by the 14 March, and the first payments will be sent by direct deposit days later.