Thursday, March 4, 2021

Dems tighten relief benefits, firm up support for virus bill

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and Democrats agreed to tighten eligibility limits for stimulus checks Wednesday, bowing to party moderates as leaders prepared to move their $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill through the Senate.

At the same time, the White House and top Democrats stood by progressives and agreed that the Senate package would retain the $400 weekly emergency unemployment benefits included in the House-passed pandemic legislation. Moderates have wanted to trim those payments to $300 after Republicans have called the bill so heedlessly generous that it would prompt some people to not return to work.

The deal-making underscored the balancing act Democrats face as they try squeezing

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