Keeping Third Stimulus Check Criteria Same Is More Important Than Bipartisan Deal: Poll

Americans think President Joe Biden should prioritize keeping the criteria for receiving the next stimulus check the same as it was for previous payments over securing a bipartisan agreement on COVID-19 relief, according to a recent poll.

The president met with a group of 10 Republican senators on Monday in a bid to find a bipartisan way forward on further stimulus action amid the ongoing health and economic crisis.

They proposed a framework to muster support from both sides, which would include reducing the scope of a further round of Economic Impact Payments in comparison to Biden's own proposals.

It would lower the amount those eligible might receive, while also tightening the eligibility criteria for recipients.

On February 2, YouGov asked 7,626 U.S. adults: "What do you think should be more of a priority for President Joe Biden while negotiating with Republicans on a coronavirus relief bill?"

More than half, 53 percent, said: "Maintaining the prior qualifications for stimulus checks (those earning less than $75,000 receiving the full amount), even if the bill is not bipartisan."

Around a fifth, 21 percent, said: "Trying to pass a bipartisan bill, even if this means fewer Americans qualify for stimulus checks."

Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal includes a third round of stimulus check payments. Those eligible would receive up to $1,400 under its parameters, which combined with the $600 second round would add up to $2,000 in support.

The Republicans' proposal accounts for around $618 billion in spending, with a number of cuts in comparison to Biden's plans. Both Biden and the Republican contingent branded their relief talks "productive."

However, Biden reiterated his desire to address the current COVID-19 situation "boldly and urgently," according to a statement from White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

The statement added: "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 has spoken of bipartisanship, other Democrats have pushed to keep options open and pass his relief proposals without Republican support.

The prospect of using reconciliation has been touted and a budget resolution has been put forward. Democrats have said while they hope Republicans do support relief plans, Congress should look at means to act whether they support their plans or not.

Newsweek has contacted the White House for comment on the poll results.

biden and harris meet with republican senators
President Joe Biden (C) and Vice President Kamala Harris (L) meet with Republican Senators, lead by Senator Susan Collins (R) (R-ME), alongside Senator Mitt Romney (bottom L) (R-UT) to discuss a coronavirus relief plan at the Oval office of the White House in Washington, D.C., on February 1, 2021. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images