Over 50 House Democrats are opposed to Biden lowering the $75,000 income threshold for stimulus checks. Here’s what they’re saying.

Image
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images/Pool
  • Over 50 House Democrats urged Biden to maintain the $US75,000 income threshold for stimulus checks.
  • Congress has been split over whether to lower the threshold for who receives a check.
  • Progressive lawmakers say lowering the threshold will cut out struggling people from getting aid.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Over 50 House Democrats sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Friday requesting that the income threshold for the next round of stimulus payments remain at $US75,000 to ensure families who need the payments are not left out.

When Congress approved the $US600 stimulus payments in December, the checks began to phase out for people making more than $US75,000 a year. But with the $US1,400 stimulus checks Biden proposed as part of his $US2 trillion stimulus package, the income threshold has been a subject of debate, with one group of Republicans suggesting the threshold be lowered to $US40,000 and a bipartisan group of senators pushing to exclude higher-income families from receiving stimulus checks. Meanwhile, a pair of House lawmakers proposed last week that the $US75,000 threshold be maintained.

On Friday, over 50 House Democrats, led by California Reps. Mike Thompson and Anna Eshoo, agreed that the threshold should not go any lower than $US75,000 to account for the financial burdens Americans are facing.

“Although the median incomes of households in our districts are above average, so is the cost of living, including basic necessities like housing, transportation and food,” the letter said. “Our economic relief efforts need to recognise this reality and maintain support for families and individuals struggling to make ends meet.”

More moderate Democrats also signed on to the letter, despite efforts led by conservative Democratic Rep. Joe Manchin of West Virginia to lower the income threshold to $US50,000. Manchin’s efforts received criticism from lawmakers like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who said on Twitter that the move was “shockingly out of touch.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont also opposed lowering the threshold, saying on Twitter, “In other words, working class people who got checks from Trump would not get them from Biden. Brilliant!”

Biden indicated he would be willing to compromise on the eligibility requirements for stimulus checks, but now that Democrats are moving forward with budget reconciliation, the $US75,000 income threshold originally included in the president’s plan could likely stay.