Treasury secretary had idea to put president’s name on coronavirus relief checks

by WorldTribune Staff, April 20, 2020

Yes, President Donald Trump’s name will be printed on coronavirus relief checks. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said it was his idea to do so.

“The president could have been authorized to sign the checks. That would have slowed things down. We didn’t want to do that. We did put the president’s name on the check. That was my idea. He is the president, and I think it’s a terrific symbol to the American public,” Mnuchin told CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday.

Trump’s name will appear on the memo line on the left side of the checks. It will be the first time a president’s name has been written on a Treasury check.

Earlier reports said Trump had asked Mnuchin if he could sign the checks. However, the president is not authorized to sign Treasury payments in order to avoid politicization.

Mnuchin said the $1,200 checks have not been mailed yet because the administration would prefer to deposit the checks directly into bank accounts instead of sending paper checks.

“It’s much safer to send out direct deposits,” he said, encouraging the public to share direct deposit information with the IRS.

Meanwhile, Republican Sen. Tim Scott accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of holding funding for small businesses across the country “hostage” during the coronavirus crisis.

“This is a serious situation, that we shouldn’t have a lapse in funding for the [Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program ],” Scott said Sunday. “We should tell Ms. Nancy Pelosi, ‘Please give us our paychecks.’ People need their paychecks. And stop holding it hostage in order to do something else.”

Part of the $2 trillion economic relief bill passed by Congress and signed by Trump last month is the Paycheck Protection Program, a nearly $350 billion effort allocating eight weeks of cash flow to qualifying small businesses so they can pay employees and avoid layoffs.

Funding for the program has run dry, and Congress is working this week to strike a deal to replenish it, the Washington Examiner reported.

“People are calling every single day,” Scott said. “Hundreds are calling our offices, thousands, I’m sure, throughout this nation, because they want their paychecks, and we shouldn’t stand in the way of making that happen.”

Pelosi said over the weekend, “Again, we have common ground,” and that she thinks Congress is “very close to agreement.”

Scott, a member of the Senate Financial Services Committee, “has advocated for a more targeted approach to help small businesses get the amount they need to stay afloat while making sure as many businesses as possible get the funding they need,” the Washington Examiner noted.

More than 20 million people have filed for unemployment benefits over the last month as a result of stay-at-home orders put in place by almost every state in an attempt to slow the spread of the China virus.

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