GOP Has Smaller Checks in $618 Billion Plan: Stimulus Update

President Joe Biden is set to hear from 10 Republican senators at the Oval Office on Monday about their $618 billion counter-offer to his $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package.

The group of 10 — composed of centrist lawmakers such as Susan Collins of Maine, along with more conservative-leaning senators including Mike Rounds of South Dakota — releaseddetails of their proposal Monday morning. It features a scaling down of stimulus checks to $1,000, with tighter income limits, against Biden’s $1,400 proposal.

House Democrats, meanwhile, are planning to start Monday on preparing the legislative ground for a stimulus bill that forgoes Republican support.

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Republican Group Pitches Scaled-Down Checks in Counter-Offer

The group of 10 Republicans set to meet with Biden at the White House releaseddetails of their $618 billion Covid-19 relief plan Monday morning.

The proposal includes $1,000 in direct payments, compared to Biden’s $1,400 proposal. The checks will be phased out starting at $40,000 in earnings a year, with a cap of $50,000. That’s much tighter than the $75,000 to $87,000 phase-out of the payments enacted in a December relief package. Dependent children and adults would receive $500 payments instead of $1,400 payments.

Direct Covid-19-related spending amounts to $160 billion, mirroring Biden’s proposal. There’s $132 billion for expanded unemployment benefits. The plan would extend the current $300 federal weekly supplemental payments, which expire in mid-March, to June. That compares with a $400 benefit through September in the Biden plan.

The GOP proposal includes $50 billion for small businesses, along with $20 billion each for childcare and school reopening. The stimulus checks are estimated to cost $220 billion. The overall price tag is$618 billion.

Omitted from the proposal are Biden-plan items including aid for state and local governments and a minimum-wage increase to $15 per hour. — Erik Wasson

— With assistance by Erik Wasson

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