The House of Representatives has passed a $25bn relief package for the US Postal Service in response to sweeping cuts and operational changes that Democrats fear could harm the organization’s ability to handle mail voting in crucial November elections. Carolyn Maloney, Legislation from New York congresswoman aims to give what Democrats have argued is a sorely needed injection of cash into the agency.
Democrats have feared that recent cuts have also jeopardized prescription drug deliveries, social security checks, rental and credit card payments and other bills and critically needed mail.
The Delivering For America Act also aims to prohibit the removal of mail-sorting machines and public mailboxes, halt any changes that have slowed deliveries and ensure that all election-related mail be prioritized.
But the bill is unlikely to pass the Senate, where the Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell has refused to bring a standalone bill for the post office. Donald Trump has also threatened to veto the measure.
Roughly 180 million voters are eligible to vote by mail through absentee ballots, rather than potentially risk coronavirus infection or transmission by entering a voting precinct on election day this autumn. Millions of Americans already participated in election using mail-in ballots.
On Saturday, Ms Maloney told the House , “It makes absolutely no sense to impose these kinds of dangerous cuts in the middle of a pandemic and just months before the elections in November. The American people do not want anyone messing with the post office, they just want their mail, they want their medicines and they just want their mail-in ballots delivered in a timely way.”
Republicans also dismissed Democrats concerns that prescription drugs to veterans, who rely on the USPS for deliveries, as well as social security checks have been delayed.
Several House Republicans cast the legislation as a smokescreen to prevent legislation on the GOP’s agenda, and a manufactured crisis to score points following the 2020 Democratic National Convention to criticize the president, cast as a victim of another election hoax not unlike the Democrats impeachment.
The president has repeatedly claimed that vote by mail efforts are vulnerable to mass fraud, an assertion that his campaign has not backed with any evidence, according to court documents related to the campaigns federal lawsuit to block drop-off ballot boxes.
He told, “They want $25bn for the post office, they need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots. Now, in the meantime, they are not getting there. But if they don’t get those two items, that means you cant have universal mail-in voting because they are not equipped to have it.”
Saturday’s hearing arrived 100 days following House Democrats passage of the HEROES Act , which Senate Republicans and the White House have refused to touch.
The $3.4 trillion measure included post office funding and efforts to boost voter participation, along with one time stimulus checks, extended federal unemployment relief, eviction moratoriums and school funding. Republicans have argued for a narrower relief bill.
The President twitted, “This is all another HOAX by the Democrats to give 25 billion unneeded dollars for political purposes, without talking about the Universal Mail-in ballots scam. They are trying to pull off in violation of everything that our country stands for.”