Stimulus payments cleared another hurdle as a House committee approved $1,400 checks along party lines

  • A House committee approved Biden’s proposed $1,400 stimulus checks with a party-line vote.
  • Different committees are working on various elements of Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief package.
  • The package could receive a full vote in the House during the week of February 22.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

The House Ways and Means Committee approved some measures of President Joe Biden’s stimulus package on Thursday, including the controversial $1,400 direct payments to Americans.

In total, the committee approved $593.5 billion in benefits, with the vote split along party lines, Bloomberg reported.

Biden’s proposed rescue package totals $1.9 trillion and includes, in addition to the direct payments, $400 weekly federal unemployment benefits, an increased child tax credit, and aid to local and state governments.

Read more: Meet the little-known power player with the ‘hardest job’ on Capitol Hill. She’s shaping Trump’s impeachment trial and Joe Biden’s agenda.

“The $600 rebates that Congress delivered in December didn’t do enough,” Democrat Rep. Suzan DelBene said during committee discussions on Thursday, according to Bloomberg. “This is critical relief to help families weather this crisis.”

The latest round of proposed stimulus checks has been a controversial part of Biden’s package, with Republicans and some Democrats expressing opposition to the payments. Under Biden’s plan, $1,400 checks would be issued to individuals making $75,000 or less and couples making $150,000 or less.

However, Democrats floated a plan to instead issue the payments to individuals earning $50,000 or less, but that was met with opposition by progressives, including Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

On Tuesday, Biden indicated he supports keeping the income threshold for payments at $75,000 for individuals. 

House Democrats introduced legislation Monday in accordance with Biden’s original threshold plans, Insider previously reported. However, the legislation would restrict the amount for higher earners, phasing out direct payments for individuals making more than $100,000 and couples making more than $200,000.

Different House committees are working on aspects of the stimulus package, so it’s possible for changes to be made to other parts of the plan before it is brought to a vote. The chamber is expected to vote on the whole package during the week of February 22, according to Bloomberg.

The measures approved by the House Ways and Means Committee Thursday also included advance child tax credits and tax credits for low-income workers.

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