• Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that paper checks for the government’s $1,200 coronavirus stimulus payment have yet to be issued.
  • Concerns emerged last week when senior Treasury Department officials told The Washington Post that the checks were delayed because Trump asked that his signature appear on the checks.
  • Instead of a signature, Mnuchin said that it was his idea for the president’s name to appear in the memo line of the checks as “a terrific symbol to the American public.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Sunday that Americans will continue to wait on paper checks for their $1,200 coronavirus stimulus payment as they have yet to be issued.

Though payments for eligible individuals have been made through direct deposit to bank accounts on file with the IRS, Mnuchin said they were still processing paper checks and hoping those still waiting will instead go online to collect their payments.

“The reason why the checks have not gone out is we’re hoping that more people, as I said, will go to IRS.gov,” Mnuchin said. “It’s much safer to send out direct deposits.”

The payments were first disbursed last week after March saw a record of more than 10 million Americans file for unemployment as the economy buckled under shockwaves from the coronavirus outbreak. While an estimated 80 million Americans received their stimulus check via direct deposit last week, more than 70 million who are to receive paper checks are still waiting.

Paper checks will be sent after April 24, Business Insider’s Tanza Loudenback reported. The federal government is using 2019 tax returns — or the 2018 return for people who haven’t filed yet, given that the deadline for this year was extended to July 15 — to determine eligibility.

Last week, President Donald Trump’s administration raised eyebrows when senior Treasury Department officials told The Washington Post that Trump asked for his signature included on the checks, which would delay the checks by “a few days,” according to the report.

Mnuchin acknowledged on Sunday that Trump “could have been authorized to sign the checks but that would have slowed things down. We didn’t want to do that.”

Instead of a signature, Mnuchin said that it was his idea for the president’s name to appear on the checks in the memo line.

“That was my idea,” Mnuchin told host Jake Tapper. “He is the president and I think it’s a terrific symbol to the American public.”

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