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The next Covid stimulus checks could be less than $ 1,400 and reach fewer people if a new plan is approved by some Republican senators.
The new proposal by a group of 10 GOP legislators calls for US $ 1,000 checks per person instead of the US $ 1,400 proposed by President Joe Biden.
This would bring the direct payments to $ 1,600, including the first payment approved in December.
Individuals earning up to $ 40,000 per year are eligible for the full payments. For those with incomes above this threshold, payments would be phased out and eligibility would be capped at $ 50,000 per annum.
For married couples filing tax together, payments with an income of $ 80,000 would expire and capped at $ 100,000.
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Children and adults who are considered dependents are eligible for $ 500.
Convicted inmates would not be eligible. Currently, prisoners are eligible to receive the $ 600 checks that are put in place.
The checks would amount to an estimated $ 220 billion under the Republican plan. The overall package, including additional funding for vaccines, childcare, improved unemployment insurance, and nutritional benefits, would cost an estimated $ 618 billion.
In contrast, Biden's plan, which calls for 1,400 checks per person, would cost an estimated $ 465 billion in direct payments, or a total of $ 1.9 trillion.
The Republican proposal is likely an "initial package of negotiations," said Bill Hoagland, senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center and a former Senate employee.
"There's no way Democrats would agree to $ 618 billion, and I think they will feel that that's not enough," Hoagland said.
While the package could lose the support of some Democrats, the compromise could potentially win the support of some Republicans.
According to Hoagland, the new White House administration faces "a difficult equilibrium".
"This is going to be a big job for President Biden, who I believe in his heart is happy to be non-partisan," said Hoagland.
Much will depend on the outcome of a meeting between Biden and the Republicans due to take place at 5 p.m. on Monday at the White House.
If you have an emergency supplement in place … you can get it done much faster given the crisis we are having right now.
Senior Vice President at the Bipartisan Policy Center
The Senate is expected to present a budget resolution on Tuesday that could lead to a law of reconciliation that would only require a simple majority to enforce. But this process will take time, Hoagland noted.
How quickly the money gets to the Americans depends on how long the negotiations between the two parties take. An emergency supplement kit could be easier to pass, Hoagland said.
"If you have an agreement on an emergency supplement … you can get it done a lot faster given the crisis we are having right now," said Hoagland.