- White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden’s name will not appear on the $US1,400 ($1,817) payments.
- “This is not about him,” Psaki said. “This is about the American people getting relief.”
- Trump’s name previously appeared on the stimulus checks sent under his administration.
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White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday made clear that President Joe Biden’s signature will not be printed on the $US1,400 ($1,817) direct payments expected to be delivered to millions of Americans this month.
“We’re doing everything in our power to expedite the payments and not delay them, which is why the president’s name will not appear on the memo line of this round of stimulus checks,” Psaki said.
“This is not about him,” Psaki said, referring to Biden. “This is about the American people getting relief.”
Former President Donald Trump’s name previously appeared on the stimulus checks sent out under his administration. The step was unprecedented, marking the first time a president’s name was linked to a reimbursement from the Internal Revenue Service, according to The Washington Post. Critics had slammed the move as an attempt to tie the checks directly to Trump and grant him political clout, though the agencies should remain apolitical.
Senior IRS officials told The Post at the time that the addition would likely slow down payments to Americans by a few days, but later walked back the comments and said the checks are going out as scheduled.
Trump had denied playing any role in his name being put on the checks, but praised the move last April as the first massive coronavirus relief package was enacted. “I’m sure people will be very happy to get a big, fat, beautiful check and my name is on it,” he said. Then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin claimed that he had pitched the idea.
Biden didn’t think adding his name to the checks “was a priority or a necessary step,” according to Psaki. “His focus was on getting them out as quickly as possible.”
Psaki added that the stimulus checks will be signed by a career official at the Bureau of Fiscal Service, the Treasury agency responsible for sending the direct payments.
The $US1,400 ($1,817) stimulus checks are part of Biden’s sweeping $US1.9 ($2) trillion economic relief package, which also includes an extension of unemployment benefits, an expanded child tax credit, funding for vaccinations, among several other provisions to help combat the coronavirus pandemic. The Senate approved the bill on Saturday. The Democratic-controlled House is scheduled to vote and likely pass the bill this week, and will then send it to Biden’s desk for his signature.
Psaki said on Monday that a large number of Americans should expect to receive the payment within the next few weeks.