Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) released a massive economic stimulus bill Thursday to fight the coronavirus, even as opposition emerged from some key Republicans to one of the central elements of the plan negotiated with the Trump administration: direct cash payments to Americans to boost the cratering economy, according to The Washington Post.
The legislation would would provide checks of $1,200 per adult for most families, as well as $500 for every child in that family. Families filing jointly would receive up to $2,400 for the adults. The size of the checks diminish for those earning more than $75,000 and phase out completely for those earning more than $99,000. The poorest families, those with no federal income tax liability, would see smaller benefits of a minimum of $600.
The dollar figures had been fluid on Capitol Hill as lawmakers negotiated unusually rapidly to finalize the legislation, and the emerging opposition to the direct payments underscored that key elements of the plan could be very much subject to change — especially since it still must be negotiated with Democrats in both chambers. As the administration tries to get ahead of the cascading impacts of the coronavirus President Trump already shifted course once this week, abandoning for now a proposed payroll tax in favor of the direct payments to Americans, which he said could happen more rapidly.
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