If the United States Congress passes a second round of stimulus checks that apply only to those who earn $ 40,000 a year or less , some 60 million people would be excluded from payment.
The figure CBS News cites in a report this Friday comes from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the entity in charge of distributing “Economic Impact Payments” under the CARES law passed last March.
Eligibility provisions under the law state that the aid applies to Americans filing tax returns with adjusted gross income of up to $ 75,000 and up to $ 150,000 for married couples filing jointly.
In the case of taxpayers who report “income above these amounts, the amount of the payment is reduced by $ 5 for every $ 100 above the thresholds of $ 75,000 / $ 150,000.”
In total, according to figures available on the IRS website as of early June, the agency had sent more than 159 million payments totaling $ 267 billion in a two-month period. “Of the payments, 120 million were sent to Americans through direct deposit, 35 million by check, and 4 million payments were made in the form of a prepaid debit card,” the entity said.
However, if – as it turns out – the $ 40,000 income limit (or $ 80,000 for married couples) is imposed as a requirement to cash a second check, it would leave out some 60 million potential beneficiaries (middle-class taxpayers) who are above that threshold.
This argument has been supported by the speaker of the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, who has expressed reservations about the possibility that the payments be limited to the referred level of income.
Data from the Federal Reserve supports the proposal that was advanced by leaders such as Pelosi’s counterpart in the Senate, Mitch McConnell.
About 40% of Americans earning less than $ 40,000 a year lost their jobs in March, Jerome Powell, Fed chairman , said in a presentation to the Peterson Institute for International Economics in mid-May. Based on that premise, the limit of $ 40,000 would allow the federal Congress to help the groups most affected by the health emergency.
On the other hand, for the sake of keeping government finances on track, Republicans would be inclined to invest approximately $ 1 trillion in an upcoming package. Among some more conservative sectors, there is still concern about debt that could be caused by new stimulus legislation that exceeds that figure.