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Although the two sides have each introduced and endorsed their own emergency aid package, both of which include a $1,200 stimulus check, negotiations over merging the deals came to a standstill this week.
With the impasse in talks, a group of four Republican senators on Thursday introduced a bill that would send a $1,000 stimulus check to eligible adults and children.
Under the Coronavirus Assistance for American Families Act, introduced by Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La.; Steve Daines, R-Mont.; Mitt Romney, R-Utah; and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., adults and children with Social Security numbers would receive a $1,000 check regardless of age or dependent status.
The payments allocated in the CARES Act were $1,200 per adult and $500 per dependents under the age of 17. The HEALS Act, the package unveiled by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday, kept the payments at the same level but expanded eligibility to include dependents over the age of 17, including college students and individuals with disabilities.
The senators said their bill is aimed at providing coronavirus assistance to families. For instance, a family of two parents and two children would receive $4,000 under their bill — $600 more than they received under the CARES Act.
“Much of the burden of the pandemic has fallen on parents and children. This legislation prioritizes their needs by providing resources for school supplies, childcare, and other unexpected expenses,” Cassidy said in a statement.
Single and married taxpayers with no children would receive less cash compared to the first round of stimulus checks.
The income qualifications under the proposal would be the same as the CARES Act: Individuals who earn a gross adjusted income of up to $75,000 and couples earning $150,000 would receive the full $1,000 or $2,000 payments, respectively. For higher earners, the checks will be reduced by $5 for every $100 in income.
Because the check is smaller, the threshold where the checks would be phased out would be slightly lower than the first round. Individuals with income above $95,000 would not receive payments, rather than the $99,000 limit in the CARES Act, according to the Tax Foundation.
Americans who are married to foreign nationals would also be eligible to receive the virus aid under the plan — a proposal previously advocated by Rubio.
It’s unclear whether the legislation has a limit on how many dependent payments a single household can receive.
The House-passed HEROES Act in May capped them at three, or an additional $3,600, meaning the maximum amount of money one household could receive was $6,000 (it increased the amount of money per child to $1,200).