For Americans waiting for their stimulus checks to arrive, one reason for the delay was revealed on Tuesday by The Washington Post: the Internal Revenue Service was forced to slow the process of sending out the checks in order to first print “President Donald J. Trump” on the “memo” line.
On Monday night, the Treasury Department ordered that President Trump‘s name be printed on every stimulus check that the IRS is planning to send to tens of millions of Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic. It’s an unprecedented move, the Washington Post reported, as no other president has ever had their name printed on an IRS disbursement. Senior agency officials said it will slow their delivery by several days.
While Trump originally wanted the COVID-19 stimulus checks to bear his signature, it’s not legal to have a President sign IRS payments. It’s standard practice to have a civil servant sign the legal disbursements to ensure that the payments are nonpartisan, the Post reported. Instead, the coronavirus stimulus checks will be signed by an official of the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, which is a part of the U.S. Treasury Department.
The new checks bearing Trump’s name are scheduled to be sent out to the Bureau of the Fiscal Service on Thursday for printing. The paper checks are expected to be issued to 5 million people a week until September, with the highest priority given to those with the lowest income shown on their tax returns. With this process, some people may wait up to five months for their stimulus checks to arrive.
Americans Receiving Coronavirus Stimulus Checks Via Direct Deposit Will Not Be Affected
People receiving a direct deposit of the stimulus checks will not suffer from a delay, which only impacts printed checks.
Trump initially signed the $2.1 trillion coronavirus relief package on March 27, after it was passed by a nonpartisan vote in Congress. The IRS is planning to launch a direct deposit portal, called “Get My Payment,” by April 17, which will help Americans get their stimulus payments more quickly.
Many have reported receiving their payments as “pending,” which means the funds have not yet been deposited in their account but will be soon. According to Politico, the “pending” notation is part of the banking process between the Treasury Department and your bank, and the payments should process on Wednesday, April 15.
Twitter Users Shared Their Frustration For The Seemingly Unnecessary Delay
While stimulus checks started being sent to people on April 11, the government will continue to send out relief money in waves, which has a lot of Americans waiting anxiously to figure out when they can expect to receive their money. For those who qualify for a stimulus check, individuals are expected to receive $1,200, with married couples filing jointly receiving $2,400, and an additional $500 per child under 17 for those with children.
After news of the unprecedented delay spread, Chris Lu, former deputy secretary of labor under President Obama, tweeted, “If he’s going to put his name on stimulus checks, then his name also belongs on every death certificate that resulted from his 70-day delay in taking action.”
Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich found it odd that Trump wanted his name on the check since it wasn’t his idea to send them out in the first place. He tweeted, “Trump’s insistence that his name appear on the checks is slowing their delivery. But he wants Americans to be appreciative — even though it was Congress’s idea, it’s taxpayer’s money, and it’s too little, too late.”