Democrats have called House members back to Washington for a USPS emergency session. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called for a special hearing on the USPS’s policy changes on August 24. Democrat officials have asked Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to appear before Congress. Congress wants to know why he made a series of budget cuts that slowed mail delivery across the USA. This can lead to widespread voting problems as an expected half of the voters will cast ballots by mail. The coronavirus outbreaks happening around the country will likely prevent voters from going out.
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Dems Ask Congress to Come Back for USPS Emergency Session
Dems have accused Trump of slowing down postal services to eventually disenfranchise voters. Pelosi said Trump wants to “sabotage the election by manipulating the Postal Service.”
In a letter to Democrats, Pelosi explained the reason for the emergency session. “Lives, livelihoods, and the life of our American democracy are under threat from the president. That is why I am calling upon the House to return to session later this week.”
She also added: “In a time of a pandemic, the Postal Service is Election Central. Americans should not have to choose between their health and their vote.”
“It’s not a Trump thing”
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows denies the accusations. He said that there are no plans to dismantle mail-sorting machines by November. He noted that the notion was a false “political narrative by my Democrat colleagues.”
Last week, the President admitted opposing a $25 billion new budget for USPS. He said that such a budget will only expand ballot access. Opponents have seized on this by saying he is preventing voters who do not want to go out a chance to do so.
On Monday, Trump defended his administration’s moves to apply changes in the USPS. He denied hamstringing the agency and said he supports efforts for in-person voting. He said he would support more voting booths, early voting but stopped short in mail-in voting. Republicans have warned for months that mail-in ballots would cause widespread voter fraud.
n the policy changes, Trump said he wants the postal agency to run efficiently. He added that “It’s not a ‘Trump thing” and that there are no efforts to tamper with the ballot ahead of elections.
Delivering for America
The congressional recess lasts until Sept 14, but a bill on USPS may be out this weekend. Concerns over what Democrats say is an attempt to derail elections led to this session. Pelosi wants House members to vote on “Delivering for America Act” this weekend. The act proposes a freeze on changes to USPS operations that are in effect since January 1, 2020. Even if it passes the House, especially if the GOP chooses to not take part, the bill faces trouble in the Senate. The Republicans can kill it outright, or use it to get concessions.
Earlier, Democrats asked for $25 billion to aid the USPS, including $35 billion for election use. They wanted it part of the coronavirus stimulus package under negotiation with Republicans. Trump already said it’s only going to happen if Dems come back to negotiate and give concessions.
Overhauling an Agency
Since his appointment in May, PostMaster General Louis DeJoy has strived to cut costs. He implemented cost-cutting measures to overhaul an agency with losses in the billions.
The USPS did in fact make procedural changes this year. It has also reduced operating hours, cut back on overtime, and removed some of the mailboxes. With its budget slashed, operations have slowed delivery and reduced capacity. The agency warned election officials that mail-in ballots are no longer priority mail.
Show of Support
Americans, have turned out en masse to show support to the USPS by buying stamps and merchandise. Buyers all over the country have flooded the agency website and buy USPS-themed items. Sweatshirts, T-shirts, costumes, tote bags, stamps, and toy trucks are among the hot items. Many of the products are already sold out.
The American Postal Workers Union is also doing their share. “The Postal Service handles 3 billion pieces of mail in the week before Christmas,” they tweeted. “An election won’t be a problem – as long as DeJoy lets postal workers do our job!”
Watch This Video as President Trump Holds a Press Conference to Respond to Critics of USPS Emergency Session:
The USPS faces stiff competition from delivery services and paperless communications. Its relevance is not as high as they were in the pre-internet days, but they do reach into places nobody else will. Do you think the USPS will play a big role in the coming elections? Or will people go out and vote as usual? Let us know what you think by sharing your comments below.