Progressives Score Victory In Push Against Lowering Stimulus Check Eligibility

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) prepares to wait tables at the Queensboro Restaurant, May 31, 2019 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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February 9, 2021 9:20 a.m.

The House is moving forward with a COVID-19 relief package without lowering the income threshold of eligibility for the $1,400 direct checks, which had been a large point of disagreement between moderate Democrats and progressives.

Under the new plan unveiled by Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-MA) on Monday night, individuals who make up to $75,000 a year would be eligible for the full payments, keeping threshold of the two previous payments under the Trump administration.

Additionally, couples filing together who make up to $150,000 would still be eligible for payments before the phaseout stage.

The move marks a victory for progressives as moderate Democrats had proposed lowering the cap to $50,000 for individual filers and $100,000 for couples before the amounts per payment begin to phase out.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-VT) blasted the proposals to lower the thresholds on Saturday.

“It would be outrageous if we ran on giving more relief and ended up doing the opposite,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

“In other words, working class people who got checks from Trump would not get them from Biden. Brilliant!” Sanders tweeted.

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