Third stimulus check update: House Democrats’ new plan wouldn’t lower eligibility for $1,400 checks
House Democrats aren’t onboard with lowering income thresholds for stimulus check payments this time around.
On Monday, House Democrats outlined a draft for direct payments (along with parts of a bigger relief bill), which would send $1,400 stimulus checks to individuals earning up to $75,000, and a $2,800 check to couples filing jointly with incomes under $150,000. Those are the same income thresholds Congress used for the $1,200 and $600 stimulus checks sent in 2020.
For weeks Democratic leaders and President Joe Biden flirted with lowering the income threshold for the third round of direct payments to better target the money to families in financial need (and appeal to more moderate lawmakers). But that idea got hard pushback from some Democratic lawmakers, including from Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Ron Wyden, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Last week outlets including the Washington Post reported that some Democrats were considering lowering the threshold to $50,000 for single filers, while on Sunday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen suggested individuals earning $60,000 should be eligible for the payments.
This go-round, House Democrats via the House Ways and Means Committee are proposing to completely phase out the $1,400 stimulus checks for individuals earning over $100,000, and for couples filing jointly above $200,000. Earnings are based on adjusted gross income, which can be found in your tax filings.
For each dependent (both children and adults), eligible Americans would receive a $1,400 check under the House Democrats’ draft. That is a big change from the past two rounds, which paid out only for child dependents. A married couple who file jointly with an income under $150,000 and two child dependents would be eligible for $5,600, whereas in the CARES Act passed in March 2020, that same family would have received $3,600.
The stimulus checks would be based on 2019 or 2020 tax returns, per a summary of the proposal. Sen. Wyden tweeted that Americans who suffered financially in 2020 should file their 2020 taxes “ASAP to ensure you get the help you need.”
But when would this next package actually get passed? Democratic leaders believe they’re close.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer initiated the budget reconciliation process last week, a critical step required to get the bill through the U.S. Senate with a simple majority. Pelosi later told reporters that she hopes to pass a package in the Democratic-controlled House within the next two weeks.
Once the bill is signed into law, stimulus checks would likely start to deposit into Americans’ account within a few days. The $600 checks in December took less than a week to start depositing. Americans receiving checks via mail would likely wait a few extra days.