The US House of Representatives could pass a provision Monday night that would increase the amount of money individuals and families receive in stimulus checks.
A Republican leadership aide tells CNN that while the Republican side is not whipping the bill, “there’s a good chance it can pass.” It’s far from certain, but aides are warning it’s possible.
The bill, which would require a 2/3 majority to pass because it is going to occur under suspension, would increase the amount of the stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000 per individual.
Eligibility for the checks is determined by a person’s most recent tax returns. Anyone who made under $75,000 as an individual, or $150,000 as a couple, would receive the full amount. The amount individuals receive decreases by $5 for every $100 a person makes over $75,000. In short, that means that individuals who make over $99,000 would not be eligible, nor would couples making more than $198,000.
If the bill actually passes the House with a strong Republican vote, it will put Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a tough position of having to decide whether to bring the provision to the floor in the Senate as a standalone bill.
While the President has been urging Republicans to up the payments, many Republicans in McConnell’s ranks have made it clear they don’t think an increase is warranted, given how much it would increase the price tag of the stimulus bill.
A vote on the checks would likely divide the GOP conference and force some members to endure President Trump’s ire in his final days in office.
Reminder: The Covid-19 relief legislation was passed by Congress last Monday and was flown to Mar-a-Lago on Thursday to await Trump’s signature. But after sitting on the sidelines during the negotiations, Trump emerged with an eleventh-hour complaint that a separate provision in the deal, which the President’s own White House helped broker, would only provide up to $600 in direct payments.
Trump wanted to send out $2,000 checks.
Trump signaled in a statement Sunday night that he signed the coronavirus relief bill only after securing a commitment for the Senate to consider legislation to increase stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, however, did not reference that commitment in his own statement Sunday night praising the President for signing the relief bill.