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If you’re one of the Americans lucky enough to get your stimulus check in the mail at some point over the next several weeks, it’ll be just like getting it personally from President Donald Trump.
That seems to be what the administration’s going for, anyway. The Treasury Department has ordered that Trump’s name be printed on the $1,200 checks headed to some Americans due to the last coronavirus relief package, a decision that could delay the sending of the checks, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.
Senior IRS officials told the Post that the addition of Trump’s signature could slow the delivery of the checks by “a few days.” The Treasury Department disputed that, with one official telling the Post that the first checks would be mailed out starting next week.
“Economic Impact Payment checks are scheduled to go out on time and exactly as planned—there is absolutely no delay whatsoever,” a Treasury representative told the Post in a written statement. “In fact, we expect the first checks to be in the mail early next week, which is well in advance of when the first checks went out in 2008 and well in advance of initial estimates.”
But the checks are reportedly scheduled to be sent to the Bureau of the Fiscal Service on Thursday — tomorrow — and the last-minute changes could screw with the first batch.
“Any last-minute request like this will create a downstream snarl that will result in a delay,” Chad Hooper, the national president of the IRS’s Professional Managers Association, told the Post.
It’ll be the first time a president’s name has ever appeared on a disbursement from the IRS, according to the Post, but it’s worth noting that many Americans won’t see a physical check at all, with the money set to land in their bank accounts via direct deposit. (In fact, you might have already gotten yours; the Treasury Department said earlier this week that more than 80 million people would see the money in their account by today.)
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin reportedly made the decision at Trump’s suggestion that his signature should be on the checks. But because Trump’s signature can’t legally appear on the check, it’ll appear on the memo section on the left side, the Post said.
House Democrats, who apparently weren’t told about the plan when Treasury and the IRS briefed them earlier this month, were furious at the last-minute addition.
“The committee was not consulted about this, and we do not want the checks to be delayed for a second to add the signature,” a spokesperson for the House Ways and Means Committee told the New York Times.
“Donald Trump is further delaying cash payments to millions of Americans struggling to pay the rent and put food on the table to feed his ego,” Sen. Ron Wyden, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, told the Times. “Only this president would try to make a pandemic and economic catastrophe all about him.”
Cover: President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with health care executives, in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Tuesday, April 14, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)