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The GOP wants to give out $1,000 stimulus checks – here’s who qualifies

Published Feb 2nd, 2021 12:55PM EST
New stimulus check
Image: cabania/Adobe
  • President Biden’s $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” would give millions of Americans a new stimulus check totaling $1,400.
  • Republicans, however, think the price tag associated with that stimulus plan is far too high. They’ve countered with a plan of their own that calls for smaller stimulus checks, totaling $1,000.
  • Moreover, Republicans want to give out their smaller stimulus checks to fewer people this time around.

One of the first legislative challenges that was already waiting for President Biden before he’d even settled into the White House was the question of how to successfully craft and implement an economic rescue package thanks to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Biden, for his part, was quick off the blocks, deciding that the only thing to do was to go big — accordingly, he decided on what became the sprawling, $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” that’s loaded with benefits, like funding for a new round of direct relief payments to the tune of $1,400. Republicans, no surprise, have balked at the price tag associated with what the new administration wants to attempt, and they’ve put forward a counter-proposal of their own: A $600 billion COVID relief bill that also provides millions of Americans with a new stimulus check, albeit for only $1,000. Moreover, if the GOP had its way, a lot fewer people would even get a new stimulus check this time around. Which puts the new president in a bit of a dilemma.

The dilemma is pretty straightforward. President Biden came into office promising to pursue “unity” and bend over backwards to accommodate political opponents, as an antidote to the Trump era. However, as we said, fewer people would likely end up getting a stimulus check that way. According to the terms of the Republican offer that GOP Senators proposed to the Biden administration, the $1,000 checks would phase out for individuals making $40,000 a year or more, with people who make $50,000 a year or more not receiving a payment at all.

For married taxpayers, the new payments would start to phase out if they jointly make $80,000 a year or more, and married taxpayers who file taxes jointly and who make at least $100,000 a year would get nothing at all.

Rather than accept those terms, President Biden could, instead, choose to act in accordance with the promise that he made to voters, as well as to Georgians who voted last month in that state’s high-stakes runoff election, all of whom were led to believe that Democratic control of the White House and Senate would result, among other things, in new stimulus payments of $2,000.

So, that’s the rough outline of the new GOP stimulus check proposal. Smaller checks, distributed to fewer people. While we’ll have to wait and see which way the president decides to go, he did offer something of a hint at which way he’s leaning, after meeting with Republican senators at the White House Monday to discuss all this. Biden reportedly told the Senators that, while he would prefer to pass something with bipartisan support, he “will not settle for a package that fails to meet the moment.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.