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This week, President Joe Biden reportedly agreed to a compromise with “moderate” Senate Democrats to add strict eligibility requirements to the next stimulus check.
As a result, an estimated 17 million Americans, including five million children, will be affected, according to number crunching from the reportedly left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP).
In a report published Wednesday, ITEP revealed that the Biden-backed Senate version of the ostensible COVID relief bill passed by the House last week would phase out checks “for taxpayers with income between $75,000 and $80,000 for singles, $112,500 and $120,000 for single parents, and $150,000 and $160,000 for married couples.”
The primary difference between the Biden-backed Senate version and that of the House is that the gap between the beginning and end of each phaseout would be far smaller.
The House’s bill would have phased out stimulus checks “for taxpayers with income between $75,000 and $100,000 for singles, $112,500 and $150,000 for single parents, and $150,000 and $200,000 for married couples.”
While the difference may seem small, it’s not.
“ITEP estimates that the Senate proposal would benefit 280 million people (adults and children), compared to 297 million people under the House proposal,” ITEP noted.
While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing — or at least not according to fiscal conservatives and “moderate” Democrats who worry about the debt — it’s provoked anger from the leftmost members of the Democrat Party, including even some congressional Democrats.
Case in point:
Conservative Dems have fought so the Biden admin sends fewer & less generous relief checks than the Trump admin did.
It’s a move that makes little-to-no political or economic sense, and targets an element of relief that is most tangibly felt by everyday people. An own-goal. https://t.co/n6j2eEBKXx
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 3, 2021
The fact that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the de facto lead of the notorious “squad,” would accuse the Biden administration of underperforming former President Donald Trump’s administration seems to speak volumes.
By no means is the congresswoman alone in her gripes.
pathetic. “Elect me and I’ll give you $2,000” turned into “I’ll give you $1,400 and fewer people will get money than under Trump”
— Dan Price (@DanPriceSeattle) March 3, 2021
so they screwed over 17 million people to save 0.6% of the bill cost. Makes sense.
— Dan Price (@DanPriceSeattle) March 3, 2021
Democrats are amazingly good at shooting themselves in the foot in the spirit of moderation.
— Scott Santens 🧢🏄♂️ (@scottsantens) March 3, 2021
This is shameful and embarrassing @JoeBiden @VP https://t.co/nD8byiHBy8
— Brad Gallaway (@bradgallaway) March 4, 2021
This would cut 17 million people, including 5 million children, out of relief to save $12 billion from the bill. That’s 0.05% of the total cost.
In a crisis like this, we shouldn’t be leaving anyone behind. https://t.co/yxlbuX7MJp
— Pramila Jayapal (@PramilaJayapal) March 4, 2021
We must move quickly to pass COVID relief. But we shouldn’t be making tradeoffs that leave out millions of Americans who are struggling. Now is the time to help more people, not less. https://t.co/6tIQMzUSzZ
— Senator Alex Padilla (@SenAlexPadilla) March 4, 2021
Can’t believe Trump helped more people than Biden.
But there it is.
We’re gonna lose the House in 2022. https://t.co/cVfi7erJKH
— ✨✨✨ (@_SemaHernandez_) March 4, 2021
Read the last tweet, and then read it again.
“Can’t believe Trump helped more people than Biden. But there it is. We’re gonna lose the House in 2022,” far-left activist Sema Hernandez opined.
House Minority Speaker Kevin McCarthy would definitely take that bet:
McCarthy ‘would bet’ his house that GOP retakes lower chamber in 2022: ‘Don’t tell my wife’ https://t.co/fBHWDyRbqF pic.twitter.com/u94DdfBFLg
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 28, 2021
Regarding the new eligibility requirements, the counter argument is that “there is no policy justification for Washington going deeply in debt to give the typical family of four who has lost no income $11,400 in combined relief checks since last summer.”
Made by Manhattan Institute senior fellow Brian Riedl in a piece for The Daily Beast, the argument centers on the idea that only those who genuinely need and are, in fact, desperate for help should be receiving a stimulus check.
Regardless of the infighting over the eligibility requirements, the president himself still views the ostensible relief bill — which could be passed by the Senate as early as this weekend — as a “victory.”
“[S]tarting off this victory is so important, because it’s so consequential to their lives. And we know how much we have to do, but all starts — it all starts here. It starts by bringing this home — bringing home what you’ve done all the way,” he said during the House Democrat Caucus’s annual Issues Conference this Wednesday.
It was the same conference during which he was cut off by his own White House when he tried to take questions from Democrat members of Congress.
Virtual feed cut off after Biden tells ‘Nance’ he’s ‘happy to take questions’ from Dems https://t.co/WmxwqtZuKD pic.twitter.com/L272yDZES3
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 4, 2021
He did concede though that the far-left is having to sacrifice some things.
“And I know we’re all making some small compromises, but I want to thank you. I want to thank you for the work you’ve done. I want to thank you for the work we’re going to continue to do. I know parts of this — and everything else we seek to do — are not easy, but people are going to remember how we showed up in this moment, how we listened to them — to them — not special interests; to them — and how we took action,” he said.
“I believe we’re going to come through this, and I think that people’s memories will be long. And if we continue to stay laser focused on getting shots in people’s arms, responding to the economic crisis, it’s going to open up a lot of hearts and a lot of doors for us tomorrow to do the many more things we know we have to do,” he added.
However, it doesn’t appear that his attempt to explain away his decision-making has worked:
@POTUS, @SenOssoff, and @ReverendWarnock promising a $2,000 check
Then you get $1400 ONLY if you meet certain eligibility limits: pic.twitter.com/ltPklmT97B
— Sinister Forces South Division (@SocialDemDavid) March 5, 2021
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