Tags: Coronavirus | manchin | collins | covid | relief | stimulus | biden

Senate Vote Indicates Strong Bipartisan Support for Targeted COVID-19 Stimulus Checks

Senate Vote Indicates Strong Bipartisan Support for Targeted COVID-19 Stimulus Checks
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Thursday, 04 February 2021 07:34 PM

A Senate vote on Thursday indicated strong bipartisan support for more targeted stimulus checks in the next COVID-19 relief package.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, proposed an amendment that called for "targeting" checks and making sure that "upper-income taxpayers are not eligible."

The Senate voted 99-1 in support of the amendment. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., was the only person to vote against it.
 
"I don't think a single person on this floor would disagree to target the relief to our neighbors who are struggling to pay rent and put food on the table," Manchin said before the vote, per The Hill. "This $1,400 will make a significant impact on their ability to get by.

"There are other families who have not missed a single paycheck as a result of this pandemic. It does not make sense to send a check to those individuals."

Collins said the approach needed to help Americans suffering as a result of the pandemic was clear.

"Do we want stimulus checks to go to households with family incomes of $300,000 or do we want to target the assistance to struggling families who need the help and provide a boost for the economy?" she asked.

The Senate vote was nonbinding and the budget resolution to which the amendment was attached doesn't get signed into law. 

However, the vote total signals overwhelming support for limiting the next round of checks to people who really need them. Democrats have said they want the next relief bill to pass by mid-March.

The amendment did not specify details on how checks should be targeted, but the vote strongly suggested changes likely would be made to current proposals.

President Joe Biden has said he would offer a $1,400 direct payment, but hasn't specified at what income level payment amounts would start to be phased down.

The CARES Act passed in March and a second stimulus bill passed in December supplied Americans with financial assistance in hopes of helping the economy that had suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Senators on both sides expressed expressed concern late last year at a House proposal that would change the amount of the stimulus check from the December amount of $600 to $1,400, but without changing the phase-out structure of the checks. 

Thus, higher earners not eligible for relief under the $600 amount would get some payment under the $1,400 payment.

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A Senate vote on Thursday indicated strong bipartisan support for more targeted stimulus checks in the next COVID-19 relief package.Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, proposed an amendment that called for "targeting" checks and making sure that...
manchin, collins, covid, relief, stimulus, biden
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2021-34-04
Thursday, 04 February 2021 07:34 PM
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