President Donald Trump’s name will be printed on the economic stimulus checks that will be distributed by the Internal Revenue Service to individuals to help mitigate losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.
The addition, which was ordered by the Treasury Department, is expected to delay the delivery of paper checks by several days, according to the Post, which cited unnamed senior agency officials. The phrase “President Donald J. Trump” will be printed in a memo line on the left side of the checks (most will total $1,200 for individuals), below a line that says “Economic Impact Payment.”
After the IRS adjusts its printing technology for this addition, tens of millions of Americans are expected to receive these checks in the mail in the coming weeks.
NBC News also confirmed the report Tuesday night.
In response to the reports, the Treasury said in a statement Wednesday that the stimulus checks are scheduled to go out with no delay.
“Economic Impact Payment checks are scheduled to go out on time and exactly as planned — there is no delay whatsoever,” the Treasury said in its statement, as reported by The Associated Press. “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.”
The decision to add Trump’s name to the checks was reportedly finalized late Monday and announced to the IRS’s information technology team on Tuesday, the Post reported, citing a Treasury Department official.
This is the first time a president’s name will appear on a payment from the IRS.
The White House did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
The checks are a part of the government’s $2 trillion effort to stimulate the tanking economy as the coronavirus pandemic shuts down much of the country. The IRS will need to add computer coding to include Trump’s name in the checks’ printing process, then test the system before sending out the checks, according to the Post.
The newspaper also reported that Trump privately suggested to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that the president should sign the stimulus checks. However, the U.S. president is not an authorized signer for payments made by the Treasury.
Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said in a tweet that Trump was directly causing the delay of these checks to Americans who need them to continue paying bills.
“You are getting your money late because the President thinks it is more important that his name be on the check than that you are able to pay your bills on time,” Schatz tweeted. “This is not a rhetorical flourish. The checks are delayed. Because Trump.”
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) described the addition as an “unprecedented, cheap political stunt.”
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