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Biden won’t be putting his signature on COVID-19 relief checks, unlike Trump

President Biden
President Biden speaks at an event to mark International Women’s Day on Monday.
(Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)

President Biden will not be attaching his signature to the $1,400 relief checks that are expected to be mailed soon — a break with his predecessor, who last year had “President Donald J. Trump” printed on the economic impact payments approved by Congress.

The next round of checks will bear the signature of a career official at the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday.

House Democratic leaders said Tuesday that they have the votes to give final congressional approval to Biden’s $1.9-trillion COVID-19 relief bill. Passage has not been in serious question, but the leaders’ confidence underscored the unity that Democrats have shown during the effort.

The vote on that bill, which includes the checks for most American households, is set for Wednesday. House approval, four days after the Senate passed a modestly reworked version of the package, will clinch Biden’s most significant early legislative achievement.

Psaki said the goal was to get the payments out quickly instead of branding them as coming from Biden.

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“This is not about him,” she said. “This is about the American people getting relief.”

A closer look at what’s in the COVID-19 economic relief bill, including when the $1,400 checks would arrive and who would get unemployment.

Trump insisted last April, after more than $2 trillion in coronavirus aid was approved, that his name be on the $1,200 relief checks — a first for any president. As a businessman and media personality, he had plastered his name on skyscrapers, steaks, menswear, a board game, bottled water, vodka and a real-estate training program that he labeled “Trump University.”

At the time the checks were released, Trump said: “I’m sure people will be very happy to get a big, fat, beautiful check, and my name is on it.”

Besides those checks, the overall bill also extends emergency jobless benefits to early September; the benefits are currently set to expire Sunday. The package also allocates huge amounts of money for COVID-19 vaccines, testing and treatments, while also aiding state and local governments and schools, assisting small businesses and providing major expansions of tax breaks and programs for lower- and middle-income families.


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