Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says workers earning up to $60,000 a year should receive stimulus checks under the White House's proposed $1.9 trillion relief package

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

  • Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said US workers earning up to $60,000 should get direct payments.
  • The question of who should receive payments under Biden’s relief package is a key debate in Congress.
  • If Biden’s $1.9 trillion package is passed, the US would return to full employment by 2022, Yellen said.
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American workers earning up to $60,000 a year should receive stimulus checks under President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Sunday.

Yellen cited examples of the families of elementary school teachers and policemen who need to support their children’s education. 

“The exact details of how it should be targeted are to be determined, but struggling middle-class families need help, too,” she said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

A key discussion among Republicans and Democrats is about who should receive direct payments under the proposed relief package. Both sides have conveyed support for stricter income thresholds for payments.

Some Democrats have floated a proposal that would restrict $1,400 payments to those earning $50,000 or below. Under that plan, married couples earning $100,000 or below would receive the full federal amount.

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“President Biden is certainly willing to work with members of Congress to define what’s fair. And he wouldn’t want to see a household making over $300,000 receive these payments.” Yellen told CNN. 

Biden’s plan includes $1,400 stimulus checks, $400 federal unemployment benefits through September, and assistance to state and local governments, among other provisions. Republicans are strongly opposed to the plan, asserting that it is massive federal expenditure with untargeted spending.

But Biden has indicated readiness to pass the $1.9 trillion package with only Democratic votes, highlighting the need to address urgent challenges faced by the nation.

If Congress passes the package, the US would return to full employment by 2022, according to Yellen. And the consequences of not passing a robust bill would be grim, she said. 

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