Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is calling on House lawmakers to return from recess early this week to vote on legislation prohibiting the U.S. Postal Service from making any changes to operations it had in place starting this year.
Pelosi in a statement Sunday evening said she was calling on the lower chamber to cut recess short to vote on the measure brought forth by House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), called the Delivering for America Act.
Pelosi also called on members of Congress to “participate in a Day of Action on Tuesday by appearing at a Post Office in their districts for a press event” in order to “save the Postal Service,” saying, “In a time of a pandemic, the Postal Service is Election Central. Americans should not have to choose between their health and their vote.”
The move by Pelosi arrives as recent policy changes made by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Trump appointee and GOP donor, have led to scrutiny over widespread mail delays ahead of the coming election, which many expect will see a surge in mail-voting due to the ongoing pandemic.
When introducing the Delivering for America Act earlier this week, Maloney said in a statement that the “Postal Service should not become an instrument of partisan politics” and added that “a once-in-a-century pandemic is no time to enact changes that threaten service reliability and transparency.”
Maloney has also requested a hearing next week with DeJoy to examine the recent changes made at the agency and what she described earlier this month as “the need for on-time mail delivery during the ongoing pandemic and upcoming election” amid allegations from Democrats that the official is working with the president to sabotage the agency.
Trump has defended DeJoy amid the increasing scrutiny, saying at a news conference on Saturday that the official “is a fantastic man” who “wants to make the Post Office great again.”
Pressed about reports that the official had some mail-sorting machines decommissioned, Trump also said, “I don’t know what he’s doing. I can only tell you he is a very smart man.”
Pelosi said the country is witnessing the “devastating effects” of what she called Trump’s “campaign to sabotage the election by manipulating the Postal Service to disenfranchise voters.”
She also said that DeJoy “has proven a complicit crony as he continues to push forward sweeping new operational changes that degrade postal service, delay the mail, and – according to the Postal Service itself – threaten to deny the ability of eligible Americans to cast their votes through the mail in the upcoming elections in a timely fashion.”
“These delays also threaten the health and economic security of the American people by delaying delivery of life-saving medicines and payments. In 2019, 1.2 billion prescriptions were delivered through the Postal Services, including almost 100 percent from the VA to veterans,” she added.
Later on Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) joined Pelosi in calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to bring the Senate back early to take action on the House legislation.
“I call on Leader McConnell to bring the Senate back into session to quickly act on the House’s legislation that will undo the extensive damage Mr. DeJoy has done at the Postal Service so that people can get their paychecks, medicines, and other necessities delivered on time, and to ensure our elections will remain completely free and fair,” he said in a statement.
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