Democrats are calling for Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to testify concerning operating changes in the U.S. Postal Service they say could affect voting by mail in the November election.
Meanwhile White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is asking for a sitdown with congressional Democrats to move both Postal Service funding and relief checks for Americans forward.
Democrats claim they are protecting voters.
“The President has explicitly stated his intention to manipulate the Postal Service to deny eligible voters access to the ballot in pursuit of his own re-election,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Oversight Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York alleged in a joint statement, according to Reuters.
“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.”
Maloney said the Postal Service is stoking fear by making changes in how post offices operate.
“… [O]ver the past several weeks, there have been startling new revelations about the scope and gravity of operational changes you are implementing at hundreds of postal facilities without consulting adequately with Congress, the Postal Regulatory Commission, or the Board of Governors,” Maloney wrote in a letter to DeJoy on Sunday.
“Your testimony is particularly urgent given the troubling influx of reports of widespread delays at postal facilities across the country — as well as President Trump’s explicit admission last week that he has been blocking critical coronavirus funding for the Postal Service in order to impair mail-in voting efforts for the upcoming elections in November.”
Although Trump has opposed mass mailing of ballots, he said Thursday that he would not veto a coronavirus relief package solely because it included an increase in Postal Service funding, according to NPR.
On Sunday, Meadows said getting the Postal Service what it needs can be resolved if Democrats truly want to negotiate, according to Fox News.
“If my Democrat friends are all upset about this, come back to Washington, D.C., where the president and I am right now,” he said on the CNN show “State of the Union.”
“Let’s go ahead and get a stimulus check out to Americans. Let’s make sure that small businesses are protected with an extended [Payroll Protection Program] and put the postal funding in there. We’ll pass it tomorrow. The president will sign it.”
Meadows told host Jake Tapper that Trump would support Postal Service funding increases of between $10 billion and $25 billion.
“You know, when we look at all of this, every single month, Jake, 8.6 billion pieces of mail go through the postal workers’ hands and through letter carriers, whether they’re rural or in our cities, 8.6 billion.
“Even if every single voter voted by mail, we’re talking about a 1.5 percent difference,” Meadows said. “I was in the room when the Postmaster General said he’s willing to pay overtime to make sure that that happens.”
Meadows noted that the administration’s objection is to “universal mail-in ballots where you send millions of ballots out to registered voters across the country, even those that don’t request it.”
“Those rolls are not accurate. People move, people die. And yet when we are going to send out ballots all across the country, that’s not just asking for a disaster. It really is knowing that what you’re sending out is inaccurate,” he said.
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