Sens. Tom Cotton, Doug Jones call on Treasury to issue direct relief payments to some Americans via debit card

Coronavirus

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KNWA/KFTA) — Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Doug Jones (D-Ala.) on Tuesday called on the U.S. Department of the Treasury to expedite direct relief payments for some Americans by making the money available on debit cards.

The “Direct Express” debit cards would be limited to eligible Americans who have not signed up for IRS direct deposits, don’t have a bank account, or who require a paper check, the senators, who serve together on the Senate Banking Committee, said.

The Direct Express cards are used for other federal benefits like Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits.

“It is our understanding that payments made electronically can be distributed quickly, but the Internal Revenue System (IRS) must print paper checks and mail them separately. As a result, we encourage the Treasury Department to offer a targeted group of Americans the option of receiving their direct assistance payment on the Direct Express debit cards, which are used for other federal benefits like Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits,” the senators wrote in a letter to Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin.

You can read the full text of the senators’ letter to Mnuchin here.

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