Media Pundits, Lawmakers Push Claim That Stimulus Checks Will Be Delayed, Despite Treasury Department Statement Indicating Otherwise

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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Media pundits and lawmakers rushed to promote the claim that stimulus checks will be delayed so President Donald Trump can have his name printed on them, despite the fact that the article they cited disputed the notion.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that in an “unprecedented move,” Trump’s name will be printed on the stimulus checks aimed at helping Americans amid coronavirus. Buried in the article was a statement from a Treasury Department representative assuring readers that the “checks are scheduled to go out on time and exactly as planned.”

“Economic Impact Payment checks are scheduled to go out on time and exactly as planned—there is absolutely no delay whatsoever,” the spokesperson said according to WaPo. The spokesperson even added that this process would be faster than in previous years when stimulus checks were sent out.

Despite this assurance, many media pundits pushed the idea that Trump’s directive will cause delays. (RELATED: Trump Gives A Timeline Of His Virus Response, Pushes Back Against NYT Report)

The delivery of $1200 stimulus checks to needy Americans is delayed so that President Trump’s name can be printed on the checks (nothing like this happened with any previous president),” New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof tweeted. “OK. So I suggest that Trump’s name also be put on top of tax bills.”

Greg Miller, the National Security Correspondent for WaPo, also tweeted that “stimulus checks will be delayed so that Trump’s signature can be printed on the payments.” This tweet came despite WaPo including a statement from a Treasury Department representative disputing the notion.

“’I am so happy my stimulus check is delayed in order for @realDonaldTrump to stick his name on it’ said no one ever,” Democratic California Rep. Ted Lieu tweeted.

Democratic Texas Rep. Sylvia Garica wrote that “Trump is putting his own vanity above the American people,” adding that checks would be delayed “because he [Trump] wants his name on them.”

WaPo’s article cited anonymous IRS officials who alleged that the process “could slow their delivery by a few days, senior IRS officials said.” However, the official statement from the Treasury Department disputed this.

The article added that “the decision is another sign of Trump’s effort to cast his response to the pandemic in political terms.”

“The team, working from home, is now racing to implement a programming change that two senior IRS officials said will probably lead to a delay in issuing the first batch of paper checks. They are scheduled to be sent Thursday to the Bureau of the Fiscal Service for printing and issuing,” WaPo wrote, despite later contradicting this with the Treasury Department’s statement.

The president reiterated during his press conference Wednesday that the checks should not be delayed because of the process, according to Axios White House reporter Alayna Treene.