Letters signed by President Joe Biden have begun to go out notifying beneficiaries of their direct payments under the administration’s Covid relief package, CNN has learned.
The letters were sent out this past week, a White House official tells CNN, to notify recipients who received direct payments under the American Rescue Plan last month.
“My fellow American, On March 11, 2021, I signed into law the American Rescue Plan, a law that will help vaccinate America and deliver immediate economic relief to hundreds of millions of Americans, including you,” the letter from the IRS reads. “This fulfills a promise I made to you, and will help get millions of Americans through this crisis.”
The letters include both English and Spanish versions.
Under the package, which passed along strict party lines in early March, Congress mandates that the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Treasury, “shall provide such taxpayer with a written notice which includes the taxpayer’s taxpayer identity…the aggregate amount of such payments made to such taxpayer during such calendar year, and such other information as the Secretary determines appropriate.”
There is no requirement, however, that the President sign said written notice.
Previous tranches of Covid relief, passed and signed into law under then-President Donald Trump, included physical checks signed by Trump, which drew criticism from Democrats at the time, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who called the decision “shameful.” Those payments also required notifications from the IRS and Treasury, which were also signed by Trump.
Asked upon passage of the administration’s Covid package, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden’s signature would not appear on relief checks.
“This is not about him,” Psaki told reporters in March. “This is about the American people getting relief, almost 160 million of them.”
CNN has reached out to the White House and Treasury for comment.