According to the U.S. Secret Service, President Donald Trump's name on the coronavirus economic impact payment checks is a "genuine security feature" that they put in place. The U.S. government's decision to put the president's name in the memo section of each stimulus check has caused a lot of controversy, as some reports suggest that it would delay their distribution. According to a report by USA Today, the Treasury Department now says that that is not the case.
The Secret Service released an image showing an example of what the stimulus check would look like for those who get it in the mail. As The Washington Post previously reported, it includes Trump's name printed in the memo section, since the president does not have the legal authority to sign checks issued by the treasury. While this has not been done for past economic stimulus payments, the Secret Service claimed that this is a "security measure" to protect the checks from forgers.
Pictured: Donald Trump's name on $1,200 relief checks is unveiled by the Secret Service https://t.co/DetJ0sUjPh— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) April 20, 2020
The memo reads: Economic Impact Payment President Donald J. Trump." The Secret Service's press release counted it among other security features on the checks, including the treasury seal, special "bleeding ink," a watermark, ultraviolet overprint and hidden microprinting — all of which is difficult to duplicate.
Meanwhile, a treasury spokeswoman told USA Today that the adding this memo to the checks has not delayed their scheduled delivery, as some sources have suggested. They said: "Economic Impact Payment checks are scheduled to go out on time and exactly as planned – there is absolutely no delay whatsoever."
This contradicts a report from Wednesday, when three other Treasury Department officials told reporters that the decision to print the president's name on the check came in at the last minute, on Monday night. They also said that the president himself asked to sign the checks, and had to be told that he did not have the legal authority to do so.
The story caused outrage on social media, where many people accused the president of further delaying payments that are badly needed for crisis relief by many. They noted that President Barack Obama's name was not printed on stimulus checks sent out during the 2008 economic collapse, nore were other presidents' names on stimulus checks before that.
On Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appeared on CNN, claiming that the memo was his idea personally. "We did put the president's name on the check - that was my idea," he said. "He is the president, and I think it's terrific symbol to the American public."
The first round of stimulus checks by mail are expected to be sent out on Friday, April 24. Check the IRS' website for updates on tracking information on your payment. Visit the CDC's website for the latest information on the coronavirus pandemic.