Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who promised Tuesday that his GOP members would move at “warp speed” to craft a $1 trillion COVID-19 economic stimulus package, introduced the bill Thursday afternoon.
One provision in the bill — titled the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act,” or CARES Act — would send $1,200 checks to Americans making up to $75,000 per year, based on their fiscal year 2018 tax filing. The checks then scale down in amount until reaching an income cap of $99,000 per year, according to a senior administration official and a GOP official.
The amount doubles for married couples — with $198,000 as the cap for them — but only for those making less than $99,000. All of this is based on 2018 income.
It was not yet clear how the issue of sending two checks to Americans, as the administration wants, would be dealt with in the Republican-backed bill.
Indiana Sen. Mike Braun told reporters, “There’s some discussion whether it should be one (check) and then wait and do another one to see whether it should be targeted.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, following the introduction of the CARES Act, released a joint statement, saying for the GOP to earn support from their Democratic counterparts, it would need to include provisions to protect workers.
“To earn Democratic support in the Congress, any economic stimulus proposal must include new, strong and strict provisions that prioritize and protect workers, such as banning the recipient companies from buying back stock, rewarding executives, and laying off workers,” the statement said.
There was a spirited debate behind closed doors at Thursday’s GOP lunch around whether or not to give Americans $1,200 checks to help cushion any economic blow from the virus’ impact, this according to two GOP officials who asked to remain anonymous to discuss the private meeting.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a key Trump ally, told his colleagues that he would be working to convince the president and his incoming chief of staff, former Rep. Mark Meadows, not to send the checks — arguing that Congress should focus on keeping existing payroll flowing to workers instead.
You can read the rest of Trish Turner and Allison Pecorin’s article at ABCnews.com