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Photo: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden will not sign his name on the stimulus checks set to be distributed this month as part of his $1.9 trillion COVID relief package — reversing a precedent set by former President Trump in the first two rounds of direct payments last year.

What they're saying: "This was not about him. This was about the American people getting relief," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a briefing on Tuesday. Psaki added that Biden "didn't think that was a priority or a necessary step" and that his "focus was on getting them out as quickly as possible."

  • Trump's stimulus checks were the first time an IRS disbursement featured a presidential signature.
  • The stimulus checks included in the America Rescue Package, which is set to be passed by the House on Wednesday, will be signed by a career official from the Treasury Department's Bureau of the Fiscal Service.

The big picture: Americans making less than $75,000 annually and married couples making less than $150,000 are eligible for $1,400 stimulus checks this month. Check amounts phase down from there, with it capped at $80,000 annually for individuals and $160,000 for couples.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Science

Nor'easter slams East Coast with flooding rain and powerful winds

A residential area in Middlesex County as floodwater from the nor'easter covers streets in New Jersey on Tuesday. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A monster storm was slamming the Northeast with record rainfall and powerful winds over Tuesday night — causing flash flooding that resulted in people having to be rescued in New Jersey and New York roads to close.

Threat level: All of southern New England westward to New York City and northern New Jersey was under the threat of flash flooding and coastal flooding from the nor'easter through Tuesday night into early Wednesday, per the National Weather Service.

1 hour ago - World

Blinken speaks with Sudan prime minister after his release

Sudan's Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok. Photo: Ebrahim Hamid/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Tony Blinken spoke on the phone on Tuesday evening with Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok after the military released him from custody.

Why it matters: Hamdok’s release was a result of pressure on Sudan’s military leader General Abdul Fattah al-Burhan from the U.S. and other countries but also from the different political parties in Sudan and massive protests in the streets.

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Brazil senators vote to recommend criminal charges for Bolsonaro

Brazilian senators vote on probe into President Bolsonaro's handling of pandemic. Photo: Gustavo Minas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate committee Tuesday voted to approve a report recommending President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with a raft of criminal indictments, including crimes against humanity over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, per AP.

Why it matters: Bolsonaro has become the face of a right-wing approach to the pandemic that includes repudiating vaccines and masks and resisting lockdowns and other mitigation measures. The Senate report holds him personally responsible for half of the country's 600,000 deaths.