The White House is sending out letters to Americans, signed by President Donald Trump, explaining the COVID-19 economic impact payments, sometimes referred to as stimulus checks, which are being sent out as part of the $2.4 trillion economic relief package.
The emergency relief bill, called the CARES Act, requires a notification to be sent out to aid recipients informing them of some payment details.
“Such notice shall indicate the method by which such payment was made, the amount of such payment, and a phone number for the appropriate point of contact at the Internal Revenue Service to report any failure to receive such payment,” the legislation states.
Written on “The White House” letterhead, the notification letter announces, “Your Economic Impact Payment Has Arrived,” before giving some context for the relief initiative.
“Our great country is experiencing an unprecedented public health and economic challenge as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic,” the letter reads, referring to the outbreak of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, China, in 2019, and spread across the globe.
“Our top priority is your health and safety. As we wage total war on this invisible enemy, we are also working around the clock to protect hardworking Americans like you from the consequences of the economic shutdown,” Trump states in the letter.
“We are fully committed to ensuring that you and your family have the support you need to get through this time,” he adds.
In the past five weeks alone, the number of initial jobless claims totaled 26.4 million, erasing all the jobs created since the Great Recession. The economic boom following the 2008 financial crisis was the longest in U.S. history when lockdowns, sparked by the outbreak of the CCP virus brought it to a dramatic end.
In recent remarks on ABC’s “This Week,” White House economic advisor Kevin Hassett said the nation’s economic outlook was in a “really grave situation.”
“We’re going to be looking at an unemployment rate that approaches rates that I think we saw during the Great Depression,” he said. “During the Great Recession … we lost 8.7 million jobs in the whole thing. … We’re losing that every 10 days.”
Trump’s letter also gives some context for the CARES Act and highlights its bipartisan nature.
“On March 27, 2020, Congress passed with overwhelming bipartisan support the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), which I proudly signed into law,” the letter states.
In the letter, Trump thanks the House and Senate for “working with my administration to fast-track this $2.2 trillion in much-needed economic relief to the American people.”
The letter then indicates the size of the economic impact payment and the means of its disbursement, before going on to say, “We hope this payment provides meaningful support to you during this period.”
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said last Friday that it had issued more than 88 million economic impact payments to households through April 17, with the money disbursed totaling about $158 billion.
“Tens of millions of people across the country are receiving these payments, and millions more are on the way,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig, in a statement.
More than 150 million payments in total are expected to be sent out as part of the rescue package to help Americans impacted by the pandemic.
Trump concludes the letter by saying: “Every citizen should take tremendous pride in the selflessness, courage, and compassion of our people.”
“America’s drive, determination, innovation, and sheer willpower have conquered every previous challenge—and they will continue to conquer this one too.”
“Just as we have before, America will triumph yet again—and rise to new heights of greatness. We will do it together, as one nation, stronger than ever before.”
For people who have questions about their economic impact payments or need assistance, the IRS has a tax help service on IRS.gov that operates 24/7, though its live telephone help is currently down due to the outbreak.