House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday called the decision for President Donald Trump’s name to appear on stimulus checks amid the coronavirus pandemic “shameful.”
The President’s name will appear on checks sent to Americans to combat economic fallout from the spread of the disease in a last-minute Treasury Department order, a senior administration official confirmed to CNN on Tuesday.
Pelosi condemned the move in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead,” saying that it is “shameful” and “people are really desperate to get a check.”
Americans “want their checks,” Pelosi said, “they want their unemployment check, they want their direct payment check that you’re talking about here, they want the Paycheck Protection Program checks to come forward and they’re not seeing that,” referring to a new small business relief program that has so far been marred by a rocky rollout.
Two senior Treasury officials told The Washington Post, which first reported the decision for the President’s name to appear on checks, that the move will probably set back the delivery date on the first set of paper checks – potentially slowing a process that could already take up to 20 weeks. The Internal Revenue Service, however, insists that the move will not result in a delay. Trump’s name will be on the memo line of the check, a Treasury spokesperson confirmed to CNN.
The President’s name will be on all paper checks sent to people who are receiving stimulus payments. Many others are receiving the payments through direct deposit, if they have their bank information on file with the Treasury Department. Some of those direct deposit payments have already begun being deposited in bank accounts.
Pelosi weighs in on stalemate in Congress over small business loan program
Congressional Democrats and Republicans are currently locked in a stalemate over how to move forward on additional interim coronavirus aid with Republicans insisting on a clean funding increase for the small business loan program. Democrats however argue that in addition to a funding increase there should be more money for states and hospitals as well as conditions on how that small business funding can be used.
Pelosi said that Democrats “want to support the small businesses, all of them, and support the PPP and hope that we can work together to do that,” using an acronym to refer to the small business relief program.
But she made clear that Democrats are holding firm on their demands and oppose the GOP position even as funding is close to running dry. The Small Business Administration has told lawmakers the small business emergency loan program will run out of money by the end of this week, sources have told CNN.
“What the Republicans are proposing will not get unanimous consent in the House of Representatives,” she said.
The House and Senate are currently in recess with lawmakers working from their home districts and states, meaning that to pass any kind of legislation without calling all lawmakers back to Washington would require approval either by unanimous consent of all members or by a voice vote, which would not require everyone to be present.
What you need to know about the stimulus bill
The House speaker also called the President’s announcement that he will halt funding for the World Health Organization “senseless.”
“In terms of the World Health Organization, the position that the President is taking, you asked does it make sense, I say it’s senseless,” she said, adding that the organization is “there to fight disease, pandemics and all of this throughout the world and for us as the United States of America to undermine that just doesn’t make sense.”
CNN’s Jim Acosta, Phil Mattingly and Betsy Klein contributed to this report.