Trump’s signature to appear on Covid-19 relief cheques

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New York, April 15 (IANS) US President Donald Trump’s signature will appear on millions of Covid-19 relief cheques being sent to people who qualify for assistance to tide over the shutdown.
A Treasury Department spokesperson indirectly confirmed it by saying that adding his signature will not delay the sending of the cheques which will commence next week.
Since Trump is not authorised to sign the cheques, his signature will be in addition to that of the Treasury Department which can make the disbursements.
The printed cheques will go to over 70 million people, most of them belonging to the low-income groups who do not pay taxes or have bank account information on record with the tax agency, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or the Social Security Administration.
Under the $2 trillion stimulus package passed by the Congress, adults will get up to $1,200 each depending on their income and children $500 each. The payments taper off at the income limit of $75,000 and cut off at $99,000.
The IRS launched a web site on Wednesday for people to check the status of their payments but it was overwhelmed by the wave of inquiries and crashed immediately.
Out of the 150 million to 170 million payments, about half are already being processed through direct payment to bank accounts. Some recipients have already reported finding the amount in their bank accounts.
But the cheques are being delayed because they will have to be printed and sent through the post offices unlike the electronic payments.
It could be several weeks before all the cheques are sent out as they are expected to be processed at the rate of 5 million each week.
When Trump was asked earlier this month if he was going to sign the cheques, he had said, “No. Me sign? No. There’re millions of cheques. I’m going to sign them? No. It’s a Trump administration initiative. But do I want to sign them? No.”
But having his signature printed on the cheques could give him an advantage in an election year, especially when they go out to those most in need.
Democratic Party leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, told an interviewer on MSNBC, “It seems almost every day the President thinks this crisis revolves around him and his desires, his needs, his enemies.”