The checks became a focal point for Democrats in recent days, with some moderates and Republicans arguing they should be more targeted. Ultimately, House Democrats settled on a formula that phases out the checks at the same income thresholds as previous legislation — $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for couples — but phases the checks out faster at upper income levels.
The House Ways and Means Committee is just one of 12 House committees writing pieces of the Democrats’ Covid-19 relief bill. The House Education and Labor Committee passed its portion of the bill, which included raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, early Wednesday morning. Other committees are also expected to move their provisions this week.
The building of the Covid-19 relief bill will continue to play out behind the scenes and ultimately have a big impact on Biden’s legacy, test his ability to manage his party’s diverse coalitions and make the first impression of whether Democrats will be able to govern with their narrow majorities in the House and Senate. Pelosi can lose just five Democrats in the process, but Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York cannot afford to lose a single member on his side.
“We are going to have to stay united, and that means the moderates and progressives are going to have to land someplace together. What gives me confidence is that nobody is talking about tanking the bill. Everybody is talking about what they want in it, but no one is making any absurd threat that if they don’t get X, then no coronavirus relief,” Sen. Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii, told CNN.
Already, senators have signaled they may want changes to the House bill once it comes to the Senate.
“I just want to make sure we are targeted,” Sen. Tom Carper, a Democrat from Delaware, told CNN.
Schatz added, “We will probably agree with 90% of it and then make some changes.”