Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen suggested a compromise Sunday as lawmakers debate stimulus payments to Americans in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some proposals limit a new round of $1,400 payments to individuals earning below $75,000, but some conservative Democrats seek a $50,000 individual income cap, The Hill reported.
Speaking Sunday on State of the Union on CNN and Face the Nation on CBS, Yellen said the eligibility cap could fall at an individual income of around $60,000 per year.
“If you think about an elementary school teacher or policeman making ($60,000) or $ 65,000 a year, it certainly seems appropriate that they can use that help to address the extra burdens from the pandemic,” Yellen said on Face the Nation.
“It has to go to people and households that do need the money and those are lower income households,” Yellen said on the program. Details of the final bill are still being worked out.
On State of the Union, Yellen said the nation could return to full employment by next year if the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill passes, CNN reported. Full employment means that businesses have hired as many qualified employees as they need, not that the unemployment rate is zero, according to CNN.
In fact, Yellen predicted that unemployment will remain “elevated” for the next several years, according to the network.
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the stimulus package and the U.S. Senate voted 51-50 on Friday, with Vice President Kamala Harris as tie-breaker, to advance the bill under a budgetary maneuver requiring only a simple majority to pass, McClatchy News previously reported.
A group of 10 GOP senators had proposed a smaller stimulus package with $600 payments and lower eligibility caps, but Democrats rejected that suggestion, McClatchy News reported.
More than 105 million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed worldwide with more than 2.3 million deaths as of Feb. 7, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States has more than 26 million confirmed cases with more than 462,000 deaths.