White House press secretary Jen Psaki says Biden’s name won’t be printed on $1,400 stimulus checks to deliver them ‘as quickly as possible’

white house press secretary jen psaki
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a daily press briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House March 8, 2021.

  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden’s name will not appear on the $1,400 payments.
  • “This is not about him,” Psaki said. “This is about the American people getting relief.”
  • Trump’s name previously appeared on the stimulus checks sent under his administration.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday made clear that President Joe Biden’s signature will not be printed on the $1,400 direct payments expected to be delivered to millions of Americans this month.

“We’re doing everything in our power to expedite the payments and not delay them, which is why the president’s name will not appear on the memo line of this round of stimulus checks,” Psaki said.

“This is not about him,” Psaki said, referring to Biden. “This is about the American people getting relief.”

Former President Donald Trump’s name previously appeared on the stimulus checks sent out under his administration. The step was unprecedented, marking the first time a president’s name was linked to a reimbursement from the Internal Revenue Service, according to The Washington Post. Critics had slammed the move as an attempt to tie the checks directly to Trump and grant him political clout, though the agencies should remain apolitical.

Senior IRS officials told The Post at the time that the addition would likely slow down payments to Americans by a few days, but later walked back the comments and said the checks are going out as scheduled.

Trump had denied playing any role in his name being put on the checks, but praised the move last April as the first massive coronavirus relief package was enacted. “I’m sure people will be very happy to get a big, fat, beautiful check and my name is on it,” he said. Then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin claimed that he had pitched the idea.

Biden didn’t think adding his name to the checks “was a priority or a necessary step,” according to Psaki. “His focus was on getting them out as quickly as possible.”

Psaki added that the stimulus checks will be signed by a career official at the Bureau of Fiscal Service, the Treasury agency responsible for sending the direct payments.

The $1,400 stimulus checks are part of Biden’s sweeping $1.9 trillion economic relief package, which also includes an extension of unemployment benefits, an expanded child tax credit, funding for vaccinations, among several other provisions to help combat the coronavirus pandemic. The Senate approved the bill on Saturday. The Democratic-controlled House is scheduled to vote and likely pass the bill this week, and will then send it to Biden’s desk for his signature.

Psaki said on Monday that a large number of Americans should expect to receive the payment within the next few weeks.

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54 million Americans, including 18 million children, to be food insecure by the end of 2020, according to Feeding America

Feeding America
Kitchen staff at Trinity Cafe in Tampa, Florida prepare meatloaf, potatoes and steamed vegetables to be distributed by Feeding America at on March 27, 2019.

  • 54 million or one in six Americans are projected to be food insecure by the end of the year, according to an analysis by Feeding America, the largest anti-hunger organization in the US.
  • The organization distributed 4.2 billion meals between March and October, with around 20% of its 200 food banks across the country in danger of running out of supplies, AP reported.
  • Almost 26 million people, or one in eight Americans, did not have enough food as of mid-November, the US Census Bureau found.
  • Children have also been acutely affected, with 18 million estimated to have gone hungry by the end of this year, The Guardian noted.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

54 million or one in six Americans are projected to be food insecure by the end of the year, according to an analysis by Feeding America.

Feeding America, the largest anti-hunger organization in the United States, distributed 4.2 billion meals between March and October, with around 20% of its 200 food banks in danger of running out of supplies. This represents a 57% increase from last year, with around 4 in 10 visitors being first-timers, the Associated Press reported.

Almost 26 million people, or one in eight Americans, did not have enough food as of mid-November, the US Census Bureau found. A report commissioned by the Food Research & Action Center noted that 1 in 4 of those in food poverty typically had incomes above $50,000 a year before COVID-19, the Associated Press added.

The largest increases were seen among communities of color after they were disproportionately affected by high unemployment, infection, and death rates during the COVID-19 pandemic. One in five Black and Hispanic adults were struggling to find enough food while a third were behind on their rent, according to Forbes.

Several initiatives from The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which received a $450m boost, are set to expire on December 31. The $4.5bn Farmers to Families Food Box program, which has provided over 120 million food boxes, is the largest and has already run out in some areas, The Washington Post reported.

The program has already gone through four rounds of funding; $1.2bn was awarded in the first, $1.76bn in the second, $1bn in the third, and only $500m in the fourth. In a statement, the USDA said that the $500m had “resulted in some non-profits being unable to participate and fewer box deliveries,” The Washington Post added.

Various organizations have lobbied Congress for a 15% increase in food stamp benefits as was implemented during the 2008 recession. Still, it has not yet led to any action, according to the Digital Journal.

Children have also been acutely affected, with Feeding America estimating that 18 million or one in four have gone hungry by the end of this year, a 63% increase from 2018, The Guardian noted.

Both the Supplementary Nutritional Program (SNAP) and Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) help parents who no longer get free or subsidized school lunches. However, most P-EBTs expired at the end of September and some as early as July, Truthout reported. States can reapply but only Massachusetts has done this so far.

Meanwhile, if the SNAP increases currently under discussion in Congress are implemented, then each four-person family would receive less than a dollar per day as a maximum benefit. The House of Representatives passed a stimulus bill earlier this year to provide for an increase in SNAP benefits. Still, it has been bogged down in partisan squabbling, the Digital Journal added.

Lisa Davis, Senior Vice President of No Kid Hungry, told Business Insider: “One of the things that is very frustrating is that so much of the discussion in Congress has been around the cost of legislation. There’s no discussion about the cost of not taking action. 

“There’s a very robust body of evidence that shows that when kids miss meals, it affects their physical health, how they perform in school or don’t perform, their graduation rates, and even their lifetime earnings, so the cost of doing nothing is very high. I worry a lot that we are looking at a lost generation of American kids.

“It’s very frustrating that we’re nine months into this pandemic and the last legislation to help families was back in April. Congress needs to take action immediately. Families that are struggling now can’t wait and unfortunately for millions of families across the US, this is going to be the hungriest holiday season they will ever face.”

Experts believe that there is likely “more hunger in the US today than at any point since 1998,” when the US Census Bureau first began tracking food poverty, according to The Washington Post.

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