In an unprecedented move, the Treasury Department ordered the IRS to add President Donald Trump’s name to the economic stimulus checks due to be mailed out to Americans in the coming weeks, the Washington Post reported Tuesday morning.
According to the report, the IRS will need to add new computer coding to include Trump’s name in the checks’ printing process, then test the system before sending out the checks.
The Post also reported that Trump privately suggested to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that the president should sign the stimulus checks. However, the U.S. president is not an authorized signer for payments made by the Treasury.
By doing this, Trump is attempting to take credit for the stimulus checks as they hit Americans’ bank accounts or arrive in paper form through letterboxes.
The move has sparked a widespread backlash.
The national president of an organization for IRS managers accused the Trump administration of abusing federal government resources by delaying the delivery of the stimulus checks to put the president’s name on them.
“In this time of need for additional resources, anything that takes our focus from getting those checks out the door and hampers the equitable, fair administration of the tax code is not something we can support,” Hooper told the Post, calling it “an abuse of government resources.”
Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said in a tweet that Trump was directly causing the delay of these checks to Americans who need them to continue paying bills.
“You are getting your money late because the President thinks it is more important that his name be on the check than that you are able to pay your bills on time,” Schatz tweeted. “This is not a rhetorical flourish. The checks are delayed. Because Trump.”
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) described the addition as an “unprecedented, cheap political stunt.”
You are getting your money late because the President thinks it is more important that his name be on the check than that you are able to pay your bills on time. This is not a rhetorical flourish. The checks are delayed. Because Trump.
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) April 15, 2020
Coming to your $1,200 relief check: Donald J. Trump’s name// unprecedented,cheap political stunt by our Barnum’N Bailey ringmaster,our Joe Exotic!Gives Charlatan a bad name.#TrumpMadness #CARESAct https://t.co/BXwKgiWAKz
— Steve Cohen (@RepCohen) April 15, 2020
The White House declined a request for comment.