- Warnock told Insider on Capitol Hill he favored maintaining the existing check thresholds in the Biden plan.
- “I think people making $75,000 in Georgia are struggling in many instances,” he said.
- The comments add to the growing criticism among Democrats who are resisting scaling back the income parameters of $1,400 stimulus checks.
- Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia indicated during an interview on Capitol Hill that he favors keeping the same income thresholds for a wave of $1,4o0 stimulus checks and not tightening eligibility around them.
“I think people making $75,000 in Georgia are struggling in many instances,” he told Insider.
“I am committed to getting as many people help as soon as we can,” he added. “We need a robust package.”
Warnock’s comments may add momentum to a growing backlash among Democrats trying to drastically scale back the income thresholds for a full $1,400 check.
Insider previously reported that some Congressional Democrats were weighing putting forward a plan that would provide full direct payments to individuals making $50,000 and under, as well as couples earning $100,000 or less.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont strongly criticized the emerging plan, saying it was “unbelievable.”
“In other words, working-class people who got checks from Trump would not get them from Biden,” Sanders tweeted on Sunday. “Brilliant!”
Senior House Democrats introduced legislation that would keep the income parameters laid out in the Biden package on Monday evening. The proposal would provide a $1,400 stimulus check for individuals earning $75,000 and under, along with couples making $150,000 or less.
Warnock, along with Sen. Jon Ossoff, won a pair of special elections in Georgia early last month. Both promised to deliver voters a $2,000 stimulus check if they were elected to the Senate. Biden doubled down on those pledges in a campaign swing on their behalf.
“Their election will put an end to the block in Washington – that $2,000 stimulus check – that money would go out the door immediately, to help people who are in real trouble,” Biden said in the waning days of the fiercely contested runoffs.
Their victories gave Democrats a narrow majority in the Senate. They control the evenly-divided Senate due to the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris, opening the door for Democrats to take aggressive action on the economy and healthcare.
The Georgia senator is emerging as another advocate of aggressive federal action to combat the pandemic. “First thing we got to do is we’ve got to pass this COVID stimulus package. We cannot delay on this another day,” he recently told The Telegraph, a local newspaper in Georgia. “People in Georgia are suffering.”