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'I strongly oppose lowering income eligibility for direct payments'
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders blasted the Democratic Party over the weekend, voicing frustration over Democrats who are moving the goalposts on new coronavirus-related economic relief.
What is the background?
President Joe Biden's massive $1.9 trillion COVID-related economic relief package includes $1,400 payments, and begins phasing out the payments for individuals who earn $75,000 and couples who earn $150,000.
But as Democrats and Republicans continue negotiating, some Democrats have signaled a willingness to lower the income threshold, meaning fewer Americans would be eligible for the third round of stimulus.
The Washington Post reported last week that Democrats are considering phasing out the payments for individuals earning $50,000 per year and married couples who earn $100,000 per year. Republicans, however, have countered with a proposal lowering both the income level and the amount of stimulus.
The idea behind lowering income threshold is to target the aid to Americans who need it most. The Post reported that Biden's administration is open to lowering the income eligibility threshold.
What did Sanders say?
The Vermont senator, technically an independent who caucuses with the Democratic Party, denounced Democrats who are open to lowering the income eligibility limit for the next round of COVID-related stimulus.
In fact, Sanders pointed out that if Democrats agree to lowering the threshold, working class Americans would have received more economic aid under former President Donald Trump than under Biden and the Democrat-controlled Congress.
"Unbelievable," Sanders, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, tweeted.
"There are some Dems who want to lower the income eligibility for direct payments from $75,000 to $50,000 for individuals, and $150,000 to $100,000 for couples. In other words, working class people who got checks from Trump would not get them from Biden. Brilliant!" Sanders added.
Later tweeting from his official Senate account, Sanders said he "strongly" opposes lowering the income threshold.
"I strongly oppose lowering income eligibility for direct payments from $75,000 to $50,000 for individuals and $150,000 to $100,000 for couples. In these difficult times, ALL working class people deserve the full $1,400. Last I heard, someone making $55,000 a year is not 'rich,'" Sanders said.
This is not the first time Democrats have moved the goalposts on a third round of economic stimulus.
As TheBlaze reported, Biden and the Democratic Party took flak from their own supporters last month over the $1,400 stimulus check proposal.
That's because Democrats promised they would pass $2,000 stimulus checks if they took effective control of the Senate by winning both Georgia runoff races last month. In fact, just one day before the runoff elections, Biden promised the checks would be immediately passed by the Democrat-controlled Congress.
However, when Biden released his COVID economic relief plan one week later, it included only $1,400 payments, posturing the $600 payment passed in December under Trump as a "down payment."
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Chris Enloe is a staff writer for Blaze News