Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

Senate GOP stimulus plan would exclude up to 64 million tax filers from full rebate, economist says

Senate Republicans unveiled their proposal for sending out cash to Americans amid the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, but as is, a large number wouldn't receive the full amounts.

Under the economic stimulus plan released Thursday, payments of up to $1,200 would be sent out to individuals and $2,400 to married couples, though the amount phases out for single filers making $75,000 a year and joint filers making $150,000 a year. But The Wall Street Journal notes that "individuals need to have qualifying income of at least $2,500 or income tax liability to get the minimum payment of $600." This is based on their 2018 tax return.

Looking at IRS data, economist Kyle Pomerleau estimates that about 64 million filers who earn less than $50,000 won't get the full rebate amount of $1,200 or $2,400, as "for a single filer, income must be at least about $23k to get the full $1,200," and "for married couple filing jointly, AGI must be about $47k to get the full $2,400," he writes.

The Journal notes, though, that some senators from both parties are dissatisfied with this aspect of the plan. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said Thursday, "Relief to families in this emergency shouldn't be regressive. Lower-income families shouldn't be penalized." Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) voiced a similar concern, tweeting that "the current bill has promise but it shouldn't give lower earners smaller checks." Romney earlier this week proposed sending a $1,000 check to all American adults.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Politico reports, is aiming for an agreement on the stimulus bill by Friday evening and for it to be passed by Monday.