Doug Mills/Zumapress

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

President Biden has struck a deal with Senate Democrats to tighten the income threshold for the proposed $1,400 stimulus checks, as his $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill faces opposition in the Senate, and amid a push to pass the legislation before March 14—when several key pieces of December’s stimulus, including extended unemployment benefits, are set to expire.

Several news outlets report that the new limits won’t change who is eligible for the full $1,400: individual filers earning up to $75,000 and joint filers earning up to $150,000 would still receive full checks. However, eligibility will tap out at much lower amounts than originally proposed: Individuals making more than $80,000 won’t receive anything, nor will joint filers with incomes in excess of $160,000. The bill passed by House Democrats last week contained higher cut-offs, with incrementally smaller payments for individuals earning between $75,000 and $100,000—and between $150,000 and $200,000 for couples. 

The deal comes after weeks of back and forth about whether to lower the thresholds, and by how much. Last month, Republicans proposed shrinking the limits to $50,000 in annual income for individuals and $100,000 for couples filing jointly.

As Democrats debated the stimulus bill, several progressive members of the party voiced opposition to lower cutoffs. “These income thresholds need to stay the same,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal told CNN. Now that the bill is in the Senate, however, Democrats must contend with tougher math in order to pass the package without Republican support.

Democrats hold 50 seats, with Vice President Kamala Harris as a potential tie-breaker—the slimmest of majorities. Barring any help from Republicans, Democrats will require unanimous intra-party support to pass the package. This math has empowered moderate Democrats, namely Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who has been a key voice pushing to lower the income thresholds to more narrowly target relief money to those who most need it. Manchin met with the White House about this proposal on Monday.

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you'll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate