On Friday, the White House issued a veto threat for House Democrats proposed bill that would provide $25 billion to the US Postal Service. The bill is expected to pass on Saturday largely along party lines, with Democrats supporting it. House GOP leaders are pushing their members to oppose the legislation, and it is not likely to be considered in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Trump admitted last week that he opposes much-needed funding for the USPS because he does not want to see it used for mail-in voting this November.
The President has long made unfolded assertions that mail-in voting is prone to fraud, while Democrats have praised the practice as safe and secure, using their national convention this week to urge voters to request absentee ballots.
Saturday’s vote, which interrupts the August recess, comes as Democrats warn that President Donald Trump is trying to squeeze the USPS to suppress the vote in November’s election.
Postal workers across the country have sounded alarms over changes that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Trump fundraiser, has made since taking over in June that they said were causing massive delivery delays.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have worried about the impact such lags could have on the upcoming election, which is expected to see a surge in mail-in voting because of the corona virus pandemic.
The White house criticized the Democrats bill for spending funds to coronavirus relief or the election in a statement of administration policy released Friday evening.
During a high-profile Senate hearing Friday, DeJoy acknowledged that there have been some delays but defended implemented changes by arguing they will save money and improve service.
DeJoy said, “We had some delays in the mail. The change that I made was one to our schedule. I believe we will get at least a billion dollars of savings out of that moving forward, and this is the key connectivity to improving our service.”
Office of Management and Budget, stated that “The Administration strongly opposes passage of HR 8015. Instead of reforming the USPS (UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE) to ensure viability in the modern economy, HR 8015 would arbitrarily give USPS $25 billion in emergency taxpayer funding, without linking that funding to either the COVID-19 pandemic or the upcoming election.” It was also trying to “exploit the Covid-19 pandemic as a pretext for placing counterproductive restrictions on USPS already limited operational flexibilities.”
There is not sufficient transparency, democrats argued, around Postal Service operational changes, and DeJoy pushed back when pressed to provide transcripts of nonpublic meetings from this year.