Here's What You Need to Remember: Democrats are now trying to rally support around a fourth stimulus check or recurring direct payments, insisting that the first three direct payments weren’t enough federal aid for low-income Americans to combat the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
President Joe Biden will tout his legislative victories in the upcoming weeks, as millions of Americans who received a third stimulus payment will get a letter from the president by direct mail, promoting his role in sending them federal aid.
The letter, which will be sent by the Internal Revenue Service, will be full of self-praise for upholding the promises he has continuously kept to Americans.
“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 million Americans, including you,” Biden wrote in the letter, which was obtained by Insider.
“A key part of the American Rescue Plan is direct payments of $1,400 per person for most American households,” the president added. “This fulfills a promise I made to you, and will help get Americans through the crisis.”
The letter also underscores other provisions of his $1.9 trillion relief bill passed in a partisan effort in March that “will help you as well,” including aid for small businesses, expanded child tax credits for families and resources to “reopen schools safely.”
“When I took office, I promised the American people that help was on the way,” Biden wrote. “The American Rescue Plan makes good on that promise.”
The president also reminds eligible recipients for the $1,400 direct payment to check the status of their check if they still haven’t received it yet. The IRS reported Wednesday that 163 total direct payments have been sent out so far, totaling about $384 billion.
But the letter is nearly identical to the one sent by former President Donald Trump last year when he signed off on the first round of stimulus checks. Both letters were pumped out by the IRS, used a White House letterhead and started it off by writing, “My fellow American.”
When Trump sent out the letter in April 2020, a center-left watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, dubbed the former president’s letter as “self-aggrandizing… at taxpayer expense.”
Democrats also condemned Trump for including his own signature on the bottom left corner of the checks, arguing that the move delayed their mailing at the time.
Noah Bookbinder, the president of Crew told Insider, “This trend toward presidents sending self-serving signed letters at taxpayer expense is unfortunate regardless of who does it.”
“I hope that President Biden will not learn the wrong lessons from his predecessor and continue this kind of tactic,” Bookbinder added.
Democrats are now trying to rally support around a fourth stimulus check or recurring direct payments, insisting that the first three direct payments weren’t enough federal aid for low-income Americans to combat the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Rachel Bucchino is a reporter at the National Interest. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report and The Hill. This article first appeared earlier this year.