Joe Biden Stands Firm on $1,400 Stimulus Check Amount, Flexible Who Gets It

President Joe Biden has stood by wanting to distribute $1,400 stimulus checks but is reportedly willing to budge on who gets them as he continues to angle for bipartisan support on COVID-19 relief.

Biden's $1.9 trillion package proposes a third round of direct payments of $1,400, making a combined $2,000 with the $600 checks already approved at the end of last year.

However, Republicans have balked at his proposed spending and a group of 10 GOP senators has proposed a slimmed down framework they think would more likely garner bipartisan support. This included cutting down the stimulus check amounts and who is eligible.

According to the Associated Press (AP), Biden told House Democrats on Wednesday that while he will not budge on his $1,400 figure he could be swayed on the latter point—stating a willingness to "target" aid further. Bloomberg also reported Biden expressed that he would not budge on $1,400 topline, but could shift on eligibility.

Biden has persistently expressed his desire further relief will be passed in a bipartisan manner, but has reiterated his determination to "go big" on relief, according to AP—a point Republicans take issue with.

Biden met with the 10 GOP senators proposing the new parameters on Monday, in talks both sides labeled productive.

The Republicans' plan pitches around $618 billion in relief, compared to $1.9 trillion pitch.

Following the Monday meeting, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement: "While there were areas of agreement, the president also reiterated his view that Congress must respond boldly and urgently, and noted many areas which the Republican senators' proposal does not address.

"He reiterated that while he is hopeful that the Rescue Plan can pass with bipartisan support, a reconciliation package is a path to achieve that end. The president also made clear that the American Rescue Plan was carefully designed to meet the stakes of this moment, and any changes in it cannot leave the nation short of its pressing needs."

While Biden may be willing to budge on the check parameters, polling has indicated the public does not want him to do so.

A recent YouGov poll found that most U.S. adults asked believe keeping the same qualifications for stimulus checks as prior payments is more important than trying to pass a bipartisan bill.

The GOP pitch suggested the topline amount of checks going down from $1,400 to $1,000.

It also suggested the threshold for receiving the payments to those earning $50,000 or less.

Prior stimulus check payments have gone in full to individuals earning $75,000 or less.

The GOP bid to cut the payments comes despite polling suggesting most Republicans among the public back the $1,400 payments.

Democrats in Congress have outlined their desire to press forward regardless of Republican support, with the option of using budget reconciliation being considered to push through Biden's plans.

Newsweek has contacted the White House for comment.

joe biden at covid relief meeting
President Joe Biden hosts a meeting with Senate Democrats about a Covid relief bill in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, February 3, 2021. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images