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President Biden on Wednesday advertised that he’s open to new income limits on $1,400 stimulus checks in a bid to get his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief legislation through Congress.
Biden made the remark first during a call with House Democrats and then in a closed-door White House meeting with Delaware’s two Democratic senators.
The president is expected to meet with a larger group of Democratic senators and make remarks to the press around noon.
“We did have a conversation about the direct payments and how those might be modified in a way to ensure they’re targeted,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) told reporters at the White House.
In his call with House Democrats, Biden also reportedly said he was open to tighter limits.
Democrats in Congress are moving forward with a “reconciliation” maneuver that allows spending items to pass the Senate by a majority vote rather than the usual 60-vote supermajority.
Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has expressed interest in new limits on checks.
Former President Donald Trump in December requested $2,000 stimulus checks for most Americans — but Republicans denied the request and approved only $600 checks. Biden’s $1,400 request would bring the combined amount to $2,000.
Under current plans, the checks would be available in full to adults who earn up to $75,000. The amount would decrease for higher earners and people over $95,000 would get nothing. The caps double for married joint filers.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris meet with Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and others to discuss a COVID-19 relief packageAP
Republicans criticized a change to how dependents are treated under proposed Democratic legislation that could dramatically increase income caps for some families with children.
Susan Collins of Maine recommends $1,000 checks with an income cap of $50,000 for individuals and $100,000 for couples.
Many Republicans oppose more checks, arguing the focus of spending should be on vaccine distribution to end the pandemic and return people to work.
An initial wave of $1,200 stimulus checks was approved by Congress in March.
EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo
US Senator Chris Coons (R), Democrat of Delaware, and US Senator Tom Carper (L), Democrat of Delaware, speak to the media outside of the West Wing of the White House in Washington, DC, February 3, 2021.
Saul Loeb/Getty Images