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Why you might not get a stimulus check this time around

Congress will likely pass $1,400 checks soon
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Posted at 4:37 PM, Feb 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-05 16:38:45-05

WASHINGTON — Congress is moving forward with President Joe Biden's America Rescue Plan, which will include another round of unemployment benefits and stimulus checks.

While final details are unclear, with the bill only in the beginning stages of being drafted, $1,400 checks will almost certainly be included.

But just because you got a check last time doesn't mean you'll receive a check when this legislation is passed.

HISTORY OF CHECKS

The first stimulus check was worth $1,200.

The second stimulus check was worth $600.

Each time, if you earned $75,000 per year or less ($150,000 for couples filing jointly), the IRS deposited the full amount in your bank account.

But that number may change.

A number of senators are pushing for a lower income limit, with full checks only going to Americans earning around $50,000 a year or less.

During his speech at the White House Friday, Biden spoke of individuals making $30,000 or $50,000. An important detail because he didn't include the amount of $75,000.

WHY REDUCE IT?

"Most people, tallying up all Americans, are earning around $50,000," Kyle Pomerleau, a fellow with the American Enterprise Institute, said.

Pomerleau's research indicates around 88% of households would still receive some form of stimulus checks if the threshold is lowered.

New economic data has also indicated that Americans making less than $50,000 a year have suffered the most during this pandemic.

"One thing lawmakers need to think about is the cost," Pomerleau said.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

The issue will likely divide Democratic senators over the coming weeks.

Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia, has indicated a desire for more targeted relief for lower income earners.

Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is pushing for similar thresholds to be used this time that were used last time.