Who Would Qualify for $2,000 Stimulus Checks Being Voted On?

The House is expected to vote Monday on a proposal to increase the amount qualifying Americans will receive in stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000, after President Donald Trump voiced support for the idea earlier this month.

The initial $600 payments were included in the new coronavirus relief bill that both chambers of Congress agreed upon and sent to Trump's desk last week. After days of hesitation that Trump said was partly due to his desire for struggling Americans to get larger checks, the president signed the bill on December 27 but instructed congressional leaders to revisit the one-time payment's amount in the legislation.

"As President, I have told Congress that I want far less wasteful spending and more money going to the American people in the form of $2,000 checks per adult and $600 per child," Trump said in a statement released by the White House. He noted that the Democratic-controlled House already planned to bring the increase to a vote on Monday and said the Senate would also take steps toward a vote, though many of his conservative allies voiced opposition to the proposal last week.

On December 23, Representative Richard Neal of Massachusetts introduced the Caring for Americans with Supplemental Help (CASH) Act and called upon House Republicans to "join us in this effort and not block critical relief from reaching families who are hurting."

Capitol Building $2,000 coronavirus stimulus
The House of Representatives is expected to vote Monday on a proposal to increase the amount for new stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000. Tasos Katopodis/Getty

If passed, the act would revise Section 6428A of the 1986 Internal Revenue Code to replace the $600 payments specified in the legislation Trump signed on Sunday with $2,000. While the revisions Trump requested would increase the payment amounts for adults but keep the amount at $600 for children of qualifying families, the new House proposal suggests increasing the payments for every member of a qualifying family.

Like the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Trump signed into law in March, the CASH Act identifies the income threshold and residency status requirements individuals must meet to be eligible for the payments. Taxpayers who file individually and whose adjusted gross income is less than $75,000 are eligible, as is the head of a household whose annual income is less than $112,500 and joint filers who earn less than $150,000.

Those who meet the income eligibility requirements must also be U.S. citizens or have proof that they passed either the green card test or the substantial presence test. However, the families of undocumented immigrants are eligible to receive the stimulus payments for those within the family who do qualify. The news release from Neal's office said the increased payment amount would also apply to those qualifying family members.

"As specified in the latest COVID relief legislation, these families are eligible for the EIP amount for each family member with [a Social Security number], and can claim the corresponding amount for the first round of economic impact payments when they file their 2020 taxes," according to the release.

In a statement Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released on Sunday, he praised Trump's decision to sign the relief bill but did not mention the president's call for a vote on increasing the stimulus payment amounts.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also welcomed Trump's decision to sign the bill and requested that he encourage his GOP allies to approve the payment increase.

"The President must immediately call on Congressional Republicans to end their obstruction and to join him and Democrats in support of our stand-alone legislation to increase direct payment checks to $2,000, which will be brought to the Floor tomorrow," Pelosi said in a Sunday statement. "Every Republican vote against this bill is a vote to deny the financial hardship that families face and to deny the American people the relief they need."

Newsweek reached out to McConnell's office for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.