Pelosi Calls House Back Into Session to Vote on Postal Bill
Amid growing concerns that budgetary constraints and new leadership will result in the US Postal Service (USPS) being unable to function properly for the upcoming election, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) has called the House back into session from summer recess to vote on a postal bill. The vote, which is expected to happen on Saturday, will center on new legislation prohibiting changes at the USPS.
Under Trump’s newly appointed postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, the USPS has been experiencing record delays, new prices and cutbacks. There has also been some controversy over the removal of postal boxes in several States, although the USPS says this was planned prior to DeJoy's appointment.
Of particular concern for many is mail-in voting. Millions of Americans are considering voting by mail this election because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The USPS, which is currently in a financial crisis caused by budget constraints, recently sent warning letters to 46 States stating that current lags in mail delivery may result in voters ballots not getting back to election offices in time.
Several Democrats and a few Republicans have accused President Trump of purposely trying to "defund" the USPS to limit and manipulate mail in voting. Recent polls show that Democrats plan to take advantage of mail-in voting at a much higher rate than Republicans.
Trump has publicly stated he opposes mail-in voting and has opposed giving additional funding to the USPS saying that doing so would result in increased mail-in voting. However, he has softened that stance over the last few days saying he might be willing to negotiate.
On Sunday, Democratic lawmakers requested that leaders of the Postal Service testify at an emergency oversight hearing on Aug. 24 to discuss mail delays.
Photo Credit: United States Congress, Office of Nancy Pelosi