KEY POINTS

  • Biden agreed to limit the eligibility for the $1,400 checks
  • The new terms would leave out more than 16 million Americans
  • The changes come as the Senate prepares to take the $1.9 trillion relief bill to a vote

President Joe Biden on Wednesday agreed to limit eligibility for the third round of stimulus payments in his $1.9 trillion relief bill after coming under pressure from moderate Senate Democrats.

Like the previous rounds of relief payments, the full amount of the checks or direct deposits would go to single taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes of up to $75,000, heads of household earning up to $112,500 and married couples filing joint tax returns who earn up to $150,000 in income.

In the relief bill passed by the House of Representatives on Saturday, the $1,400 checks were set to be capped at $100,000 in income for individuals, $150,000 for heads of household and $200,000 for married couples. 

However, under the new terms set by Senate Democrats, individuals earning $80,000, heads of households making $120,000 and married couples with $160,000 in income would no longer receive the relief payments. 

This means single taxpaters earning between $80,000 and $100,000, and married couples making between $160,000 and $200,000 per year , won't be receiving partial payments. 

The recent change would leave out approximately 11.8 milliona sdults and 4.6 million children, according to estimates from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. 

The changes come as the Senate prepares to take the $1.9 trillion legislation to a procedural vote this week. Biden and Senate Democrats would need the vote of every member of their party if they hope to pass the relief bill through a budget reconciliation process. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the president was open to the proposal of phasing out the payments much faster. 

“He is comfortable and knows there will be tweaks on the margin,” Psaki said during a Wednesday press briefing. “What his firm viewpoint is, is that it needs to meet the scope of the challenge, it needs to be the size he’s proposed, it needs to have the core components in order to have the impact on the American people.”

Progressive Democrats have signalled they will fight against limiting the income eligibility for the $1,400 stimulus checks. 

“Further 'targeting' or 'tighteningl eligibility means taking survival checks away from millions of families who got them last time,” Rep. Pramila Jayapa, D-Wash., wrote on Twitter. “That's bad policy and bad politics too.”

Democrats aim to approve the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package by the end of next week and send it to President Biden for signing before the weekly federal unemployment benefits expire on March 14. 

US President Joe Biden last month ordered a review of critical supplies following a shortage of semiconductor chips US President Joe Biden last month ordered a review of critical supplies following a shortage of semiconductor chips Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / POOL