Under a massive $1 trillion economic stimulus package released by Senate Republicans on Thursday, certain Americans would receive individual checks from the federal government to counteract the strain that the coronavirus pandemic has placed on millions of workers.
An individual who made up to $99,000 and couples who made up to $198,000 in fiscal year 2018 would be eligible to receive tax rebate checks. Families with children would receive more.
The 247-page proposal was drafted by Senate Republicans in consultation with the White House. It also includes travel industry bailouts and small business loans. The next step will be for the White House and GOP senators to work with their Democratic counterparts in the House and Senate to strike a deal that can muster enough support in Congress to land on the president’s desk, a goal that lawmakers hope to complete by next week.
Here’s who qualifies under the proposal and how much you would receive:
Less than $75,000: $1,200 check.
More than $75,000: “the rebate amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 a taxpayer’s income exceeds the phase-out threshold” up to $99,000, the plan states.
Married couples who filed a joint return
Less than $150,000: $2,400 check.
More than $150,000: “the rebate amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 a taxpayer’s income exceeds the phase-out threshold” up to $198,000, the proposal says.
For each child, the amount received will be increased by $500.
Additional Details
Those who are diagnosed with coronavirus or suffer “adverse financial consequences due to it” would be able to tap into their 401(k)s and their Individual Retirement Accounts without penalty.
Taxpayers with little or no income tax liability but at least $2,500 of qualifying income, such as earned income, Social Security retirement benefits, and certain compensation and pension benefits paid to veterans, would be eligible for a minimum rebate check of $600 for individuals and $1,200 for married couples.
“I hope this bold, new proposal will find a similar degree of bipartisan respect and mutual urgency on the other side of the aisle and across the Capitol,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the floor. “These bipartisan discussions must begin immediately and continue with urgencyat the member leveluntil we have results.”
The uphill climb for leaders in Washington to come to a consensus on the trillion-dollar package will be a steep one. But members of Congress and the president have expressed urgency in approving measures that address both the health and economic fallout from an illness that’s made much of the globe come to a standstill.
On Wednesday, Trump signed a bill passed by Congress that affords some workers paid sick leave from their employer, in addition to expanding unemployment insurance, food stamps and Medicaid. And last week, an $8.3 billion bill became law that gave funds for treatment and vaccine research, as well as local and state agencies.
Lawmakers are now racing to boost small and midsized businesses across the country in an attempt to stave off a recession.
The Republican proposal consists of four main “pillars,” as McConnell characterized it: hundreds of billions of dollars for individual checks, $300 billion in loans for small businesses (with the opportunity for a portion of them to be forgiven), $200 billion in loans and loan guarantees for travel industry companies (like airlines, cruises and hotels) and more money for the health care industry.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated with additional information.