Pelosi to Call Lawmakers Back to Vote on Postal Service Changes

Isabel van Brugen
By Isabel van Brugen
August 17, 2020Politicsshare
Pelosi to Call Lawmakers Back to Vote on Postal Service Changes
U.S. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) holds her weekly press briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Aug. 13, 2020. (JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced on Aug. 16 that she is calling on House lawmakers to travel to Washington to vote on a bill that seeks to bar the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) from making planned operational changes before the November election.

Pelosi said Sunday that she is calling back her chamber later this week to vote on what House Democrats have dubbed as the “Delivering for America Act,” introduced by House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.). The measure proposes to block the USPS from implementing any of the planned operational restructuring it had outlined at the beginning of this year.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has already implemented a number of the changes since taking on the position in June. DeJoy has said the new policies are cost-cutting and aimed at improving efficiency. However, postal workers and their unions have said they are concerned that the measures will lead to delays in service and will make it tougher for them to do their jobs.

The agency in July cautioned election officials in the majority of states that some mail-in ballots may not be able to be delivered in time to be counted for the election in November, which would be a bottleneck for any attempt at an election using universal mail-in ballots as proposed by the Democrats.

“In a time of a pandemic, the Postal Service is Election Central,” Pelosi wrote Sunday in a letter to colleagues, who had been expected to be out of session until September. “Lives, livelihoods, and the life of our American Democracy are under threat from the president.”

She accused Trump of instituting a “campaign to sabotage the election by manipulating the Postal Service to disenfranchise voters.”

DeJoy, she said, is pushing to “degrade postal service, delay the mail, and—according to the Postal Service itself—threaten to deny the ability of eligible Americans to cast their votes through the mail in the upcoming elections in a timely fashion.”

“Alarmingly, across the nation, we see the devastating effects of the President’s campaign to sabotage the election by manipulating the Postal Service to disenfranchise voters,” Pelosi said.

Her remarks came as White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said that Democrats were continuing to hold up the president’s offer to approve $10-25 billion in funding for the USPS if Democrats made concessions on the stalled COVID-19 relief deal.

Trump said last week that while he supports increasing money for the postal service, he would not agree to other parts of the Democrat’s proposed relief package in the House, which seeks funding for states weighed down by debt accumulated before the pandemic and would cost between $2 to 3.4 trillion. The Republican relief package from the Senate would cost $1 trillion.

Pelosi on Sunday also called for House Democrats to “save the Postal Service,” saying that they should participate in a “Day of Action” on Tuesday by holding press events at post offices in their districts.

Earlier on Sunday, Maloney in a letter to Dejoy called for an “urgent” hearing, scheduled for Aug. 24, into the changes made at the postal service just months before the presidential election in November.

“The postmaster general and top Postal Service leadership must answer to the Congress and the American people as to why they are pushing these dangerous new policies that threaten to silence the voices of millions, just months before the election,” congressional Democrats said in a statement.

The Epoch Times reached out to USPS for comment but didn’t immediately hear back.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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