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Trump’s name to be printed on stimulus checks in unprecedented move

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s name will be printed on the stimulus checks that the Internal Revenue Service will be sending to tens of millions of Americans around the country, in an unprecedented move finalized this week, two administration officials said Wednesday.

“President Donald J. Trump” will appear on the left side in the memo section of the paper checks, the officials said. They spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the plans.

Both said that checks would not be delayed as a result of the decision, which was first reported by The Washington Post. It was unclear whether the printing of the checks had already begun.

It would be the first time a president’s name appears on an IRS check, annual refund check or other stimulus check distributed by the government. The checks are signed by civil servants to ensure government payments are nonpartisan. A president is not an authorized signer for money sent by the U.S. Treasury.

Earlier this month, Trump denied wanting to signs the checks when he was asked about published reports stating the opposite.

“No. Me sign? No,” Trump said at an April 3 briefing. “There’s millions of checks. I’m going to sign them? No. It’s a Trump administration initiative. But do I want to sign them? No.”

The payments are part of the $2.2 trillion rescue package signed into law at the end of last month aimed at combating the economic free-fall caused by shutdown orders in the coronavirus pandemic.

READ MORE: What the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill means for you

A memo obtained last week by the AP from the House Ways and Means Committee says the IRS will make about 60 million payments to Americans through direct deposit in mid-April, likely this week. The IRS has direct deposit information for these individuals from their 2018 or 2019 tax returns.

Then, starting the week of May 4, the IRS will begin issuing paper checks to individuals. The paper checks will be issued at a rate of about 5 million per week, which means it could take up to 20 weeks to get all the checks out. That timeline would delay some checks until the week of Aug. 17.

Anyone who earns up to $75,000 in adjusted gross income and who has a Social Security number will receive a $1,200 payment. That means married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment, $2,400, if their adjusted gross income is under $150,000.

The payment amount steadily declines for those who make more. Those earning more than $99,000, or $198,000 for joint filers, are ineligible. For heads of household with one child, the benefit starts to decline at $112,500 and falls to zero at $146,500.

Parents also will receive $500 for each qualifying child.

Associated Press writer Matthew Daly contributed to this report.