Doug Mills/Zumapress

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

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.

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

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