The daily business briefing: February 4, 2021

Biden insists on $1,400 payments to individuals, American Airlines warns 13,000 workers of possible furloughs, and more

American Airlines flight
(Image credit: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

1. Biden insists on $1,400 checks but open to narrowing eligibility

President Biden said Wednesday that he was not willing to budge on his insistence on sending $1,400 coronavirus relief checks to individuals, saying that would amount to starting his presidency on a broken promise. But Biden said in a call with Democrats that he would consider narrowing eligibility to target a smaller group. Some members of both political parties have balked at the cost of sending out so many payments, suggesting that some people who don't need the aid could get them. Biden has proposed a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. Ten Senate Republicans have countered with a bill a third that size. Biden said Democrats, who have started a process that would let them pass the proposal without Republican support, could make "compromises" on some of the spending.

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Harold Maass, The Week US

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at The Week. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 debut of the U.S. print edition and served as editor of TheWeek.com when it launched in 2008. Harold started his career as a newspaper reporter in South Florida and Haiti. He has previously worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, ABC News and Fox News, and for several years wrote a daily roundup of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance.