WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans are close to a deal on sending $1,200 to most Americans to counteract the economic crash caused by the coronavirus.
The Senate GOP caucus was divided on a request from President Trump to issue two batches of $1000 checks to all taxpayers.
During a Thursday afternoon meeting of Republicans, a task force of senators presented a plan to means test a more generous $1,200.
Under the new plan, people earning less than $75,000 would get a full $1200, with a sliding scale reducing the amount for higher incomes.
People who earned $95,000 last year — or $150,000 per couple — would get nothing.
For each child, there would be a $500 payment.
Sen Kevin Cramer (R-ND) described the outline of the checks proposal to a small group of reporters. A second Republican senator who requested anonymity confirmed the details to The Post.
Cramer said he was uneasy about the initial White House request for direct payments, but that he would bet it is included in a $1 trillion plus package expected out Thursday.
Some other Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, said they oppose checks in favor of boosted unemployment insurance payments.
Cramer said it is possible the deal will only include one wave of checks rather than two.
The large package requires the support of Democrats who hold the House. The modified check plan could win broader support.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a speech Thursday morning that any direct payments would have to be more generous and targeted than the initial $1000 per person.