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As House Democrats push for $1,400 stimulus checks, deciding who qualifies could change

Stimulus check outs printed at the Philadelphia Financial Center in Philadelphia.

Jeff Fusco | Getty Images

As a $1.9 trillion coronavirus prominence package comes together on Capitol Hill, millions of additional direct payments to Americans could be in the works.

Legislation included discussion includes $1,400 stimulus checks that could bring the total direct payments sent to Americans in latest months to $2,000.

The $1,400 sums would go to adults, as well as children and adult dependents.

To qualify, individuals and families desire have to have income within certain ranges.

Individuals with adjusted gross income of up to $75,000 and amalgamate couples with up to $150,000 stand to get full payments. Those with incomes above that level want see their payments reduced and ultimately phase out at $100,000 for individuals and $200,000 per couple.

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The thresholds for qualifying for the money have been hotly contested among both Democrats and Republicans.

Sure lawmakers from both parties have complained the thresholds are too high. One Republican proposal called for capping the payments at $50,000 in annual takings for individuals and $100,000 for couples.

Still others, namely Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., have objected to bringing the entrances down that low.

“To say to a worker in Vermont or California or any place else, that if you’re making, you know, $52,000 a year, you are too the dough to get this help, the full benefit, I think that that’s absurd,” Sanders recently said.

This week, the Home Ways and Means Committee released its draft legislation, which included a phase-out rate of $50 for every $1,000 unaffected by the full-payment thresholds. While that rate is similar to previous checks, experts say the proposal will help limit how much exuberant earners, such as those with multiple children, receive, if anything.

Now, the question is whether the proposal could be mostly changed as the House advances the measure.

Bill Hoagland, senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center and a erstwhile Senate staff member, said he does not expect there will be a markup in the Senate Finance Committee.

Moreover, because lawmakers are looking to move the package forward through budget reconciliation, there are only so many metamorphoses that can be made.

“The process is very limited in how you can amend a reconciliation bill,” Hoagland said.

Any amendments have to be germane, or germane, and not extraneous, he said. The definition of what would qualify as a germane amendment in the Senate is very restrictive.

“You can change a reckon,” Hoagland said. “You can strike something.

“But it’s very limited,” he added. “You can’t add new language.”

If instead the Senate Finance Committee traits up the bill, then the proposal would go through a more normal legislative process. More changes could happen as a result, including tighter rules for who qualifies for the payments.

“But the current train is moving very fast, and it’s going to be stern to change what comes out of the House,” Hoagland said.

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