President Donald Trump signed into law a record $2.2 trillion stimulus bill on Friday to help boost the economy and help push resources to health care providers amid the coronavirus crisis. The bill is the largest package to bring relief to business and individuals that has ever been approved in the country’s history and Trump seemed to be in awe of the final price tag when he was signing the bill. “I never signed anything with a T on it,” he said.
Even though the president thanked “Democrats and Republicans for coming together and putting America first,” it seems he wants Americans to thank him for any checks they receive. Trump has told people he wants his signature to appear on the direct payment checks, an administration official told the Wall Street Journal. A civil servant would normally sign the checks.
The House gave nearly unanimous support for the stimulus bill in a voice vote earlier in the day Friday after the Senate passed the bill unanimously Wednesday. “Today we’ve all acknowledged our nation faces an economic and health emergency of historic proportions,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
The measure awards checks of $1,200 to most Americans and increases jobless benefits while businesses will get loans, tax breaks, and other benefits. Individual Americans will get $1,200 and couples up to $2,400 plus $500 per child. The direct payments would start to be phased out for those who make more than $75,000 and those who make more than $99,000 would not receive any checks (the thresholds double for married couples). Even though Trump seems to want his signatures on the checks, many Americans may not see checks at all. Those who have authorized the IRS to send their tax refund over direct deposit over the past two years are likely to get the stimulus cash the same way. And millions of low-wage workers may never actually receive a check or it could be delayed for months because they don’t normally file tax returns to the IRS each year.
For more on the impact of the coronavirus, listen to this week’s episode of Slate Money.