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Biden wants to increase stimulus checks to $2,000. Here’s what we know about those payments

  • President-elect Joe Biden is calling for additional payments of $1,400 to bring the recent stimulus checks to $2,000 per person.
  • Adult dependents would also now qualify for the direct payments, which previously went to child dependents in qualifying households who were under 17.
  • The bigger direct payments are aimed at helping both families in need and boosting the U.S. economy, including small businesses.

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden at a drive-in rally in Atlanta on Jan. 4, 2021.Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

The push for $2,000 stimulus checks just got stronger.

President-elect Joe Biden unveiled his stimulus plan in a speech on Thursday night that includes sending additional $1,400 payments to Americans following the $600 second stimulus checks that were recently deployed.

"We will finish the job of getting a total of $2,000 in cash relief to people who need it the most," Biden said. "The $600 already appropriated is simply not enough."

The payments will help those who have to choose between paying the rent or putting food on the table, he said. But it will also help those who are still working and facing higher health risks.

"$2,000 is going to go a long way to ease that pain," Biden said.

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Biden's move comes after disagreements on both sides of the aisle in Congress led lawmakers to abandon efforts to pass $2,000 checks in December. Instead, they stuck with sums of $600 per person, half the amount of the first $1,200 stimulus checks.

But many lawmakers, including Biden, still think higher payments are needed.

Some believe the next checks should be even larger. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said she thinks the next checks should be $2,000, instead of $1,400, per person.

More people could be eligible for payments under Biden's plan, according to an outline released before the president-elect's speech.

The $600 payments included children under age 17 in families who qualified for the money. Biden wants to expand the payments to include all adult dependents.

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