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President Donald Trump’s name is set to appear on millions of checks sent to Americans as part of a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief measure, according to reports.
Fox News, citing unnamed sources, noted that while the president’s name will appear in the memo portion of the checks, it won’t be a facsimile of his actual signature.
The change, first reported by the Washington Post Tuesday, was noted by senior IRS officials after the Treasury Department ordered that the president’s name be placed on stimulus checks.
The Post’s sources claimed that the addition of the president’s name would delay the mailings of some checks, though it wasn’t clear how long that delay would be. Millions of stimulus payments are being sent electronically, with the first deliveries sent on Monday.
Also, Fox News noted that some Treasury Department officials disputed claims that paper checks would be delayed because of the addition of Trump’s name.
One official told the network that checks “are scheduled to go out on time and exactly as planned—there is absolutely no delay whatsoever. 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.”
Asked about how many hard-copy checks containing the president’s name would be sent, a Treasury official told the network, “The total number of paper checks is subject to a number of variables, including how much info the IRS obtains through the Non-Filers Enter Payment Info web portal and the Get My Payment portal launching today at IRS.gov.”
The Post noted that the paper checks would have “President Donald J. Trump” printed on the left side.
Fox News noted further:
The decision to have Trump’s name on the checks comes as the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has become highly politicized, with Democrats panning Trump’s often long-winded daily coronavirus briefings and Trump returning fire by criticizing Democratic governors and members of Congress for their responses to the crisis.
Trump has also blamed the World Health Organization for contributing to the seriousness of the pandemic by putting “political correctness over lifesaving measures” as it has often repeated China’s claims on the communist nation’s handling of the virus.
As you might expect, the president’s decision to place his name on stimulus checks has drawn no small amount of criticism, especially from the Left.
If the check you’re waiting for is delayed, you can thank this man. He cared more about getting his name on the check than about your need for it. He’s worse than contemptible. https://t.co/O76gnmxgrj
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) April 15, 2020
“If the check you’re waiting for is delayed, you can thank this man,” Harvard law professor Lawrence Tribe said in a tweet Wednesday morning. “He cared more about getting his name on the check than about your need for it. He’s worse than contemptible.”
The president of the IRS’s Professional Managers Association, Chad Hooper, also claimed that adding the president’s name is an abuse of government resources.
“In this time of need for additional resources, anything that takes our focus from getting those checks out the door and hampers the equitable, fair administration of the tax code is not something we can support,” Hooper told the Post, calling it “an abuse of government resources.”
Hooper told Newsweek that he did not have direct knowledge that any checks would, in fact, be delayed, but said, “reprogramming historically has led to delays.”
“Our team at IRS always works very diligently to mitigate and minimize those delays and I hope the Treasury is correct, for the sake of those Americans in need of their paper refund check,” he said.
“Two PMA members with direct knowledge of the situation both advised me that this would lead to a delay. They were not able to speak to the expected duration. In that sense, the Treasury’s position that there will not be a delay is plausible,” Hooper continued.
“The situation is fluid and our team works around the clock to try to make changes which would mitigate impact. As well, I think that the IRS’s plan as previously reported to issue paper checks weekly means that it’s likely the only batch of checks impacted by any delay, if any, would be the first batch,” he said.
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