Washington, DC: The chair of the House Progressive Caucus, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), is urging Democrats to resist calls to reduce the number of Americans who will receive direct payments under an upcoming COVID-19 relief plan by lowering the income cutoff in the package.
Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Jayapal explained that under a proposal floated by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and some others, millions of Americans who received relief checks under a plan passed in December would be left out of the newest round of payments.
“That doesn’t make any political sense to me, but more than that we know that millions of Americans lost their jobs in 2020,” Jayapal told CNN.
She added that if Democrats truly wished to target direct payments to those who need relief the most, the party would unlink the payments from 2019 income levels, based on the massive job losses across the U.S. economy last year,
“These income thresholds need to stay the same,” Jayapal added.
Democrats have said they expect President Biden’s COVID-19 relief plan, his first major piece of legislation as president, to pass in the next few weeks without Republican support after a GOP counter-offer unveiled earlier this month was far smaller than the $1.9 trillion figure currently estimated for Biden’s relief plan.
Under the plan unveiled by the House, $1,400 payments would go to individuals earning $75,000 or less and $2,800 to married couples earning $150,000 or less.