White House says Biden’s signature won’t appear at third stimulus check – Community News
Stimulus Check

White House says Biden’s signature won’t appear at third stimulus check

The physical stimulus checks sent to American households last year included a note at the bottom left bearing the name of then-President Donald Trump. Individuals who received electronic incentive payments also received a letter signed by the president.

Psaki said during the White House press conference on Tuesday that Biden did not consider including his signature on the payments “a priority or a necessary step. His focus was to get them out as quickly as possible.”

Psaki also said the federal government plans to expand electronic payments, which are “significantly faster” than checks, adding that physical checks will be signed by a professional official at the Bureau of the Tax Service.

“We are doing everything we can to expedite and not delay payments, which is why the president’s name will not appear on the memo line of this round of stimulus checks… This is not about him. This is about getting the American people aid, nearly 160 million of them,” she added.

The decision to include Trump’s name on the checks last year was part of a last-minute order from the Treasury Department that drew criticism from Democrats who saw the move as an attempt to tie payments to Trump, just like when the presidential campaign kicked off. The then Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, said it was his idea.

“I’m sure people will be very happy if they get a big, nice check and my name is on it,” Trump said at the time.

The current Covid relief bill, titled the American Rescue Plan, is expected to receive its final vote in the House on Wednesday and then go to Biden’s desk to be signed.

Psaki said Tuesday that the White House “takes nothing for granted” as the legislative process unfolds, but she said the administration is “crossing the line”. She also said federal agencies expect to be able to make payments later this month after the plan is signed into law.

Psaki said the first group to receive payments are those who used direct deposit information to file their taxes in 2019 or 2020, followed by filers who did not provide that information, but for whom the IRS has payment information.

“For households that have already filed their 2020 income taxes, the IRS will use that information to determine the eligibility and size of payments. For households that have not filed before 2020, the IRS will review the 2019 data to determine whether they are eligible and the size of payment. That includes using the non-filer portal for past payment rounds,” Psaki said.

“For tax returns with direct deposit or bank account information, the IRS may send money electronically, and for those households for which the Treasury cannot determine a bank account, paper checks or debit cards will be sent,” she added.

CNN’s Betsy Klein contributed to this report.