US House backs USPS election cash boost

US House backs USPS election cash boost
The USPS delivered 142.6 billion pieces of mail in 2019. Source: Reuter
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Daily US Times: The US House of Representatives has passed a bill that would provide $25bn (£19bn) to the Postal Service (USPS) ahead of November’s election.

The legislation would also block cuts and changes that critics have said will hamper mail-in voting in the upcoming election.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recalled lawmakers from the summer recess to vote on the bill, which she said would protect the USPostal Service.

President Trump tweeted saying the measure was a Democrat ballot scam.

He said; “Representatives of the Post Office have repeatedly stated that they DO NOT NEED MONEY, and will not make changes.” President Trump threatened to veto the bill, which is in any case unlikely to make progress in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Mitch McConnell, Senate majority leader, said the chamber would “absolutely not pass” the bill.

Louis DeJoy, Postmaster General, said earlier that further cost-cutting measures at the postal service would be suspended until after November’s vote.

A slowdown in mail deliveries amid cost-saving measures at USPS has fuelled fears about how one of the most trusted and oldest institutions in the US can handle an unprecedented influx of mail-in ballots due to the current coronavirus pandemic.

President Trump strongly opposes mail-in ballots in the next election and has repeatedly suggested it could lead to widespread voter fraud despite there being no evidence for this.

The “Delivering for America Act” passed by the House, which is controlled by Democratic Party, in a rare Saturday sitting includes $25bn of emergency coronavirus funding requested by the USPS’s board of governors.

More than a dozen Republican lawmakers crossed the floor to vote with their Democratic opponents.

The bill would require the USPS to treat all official election correspondence as first-class mail.

The service would be prohibited until January 2021 from approving or implementing any changes to operations or service levels that would “impede prompt, reliable, and efficient service”, including reducing or closing the hours of post offices, stopping overtime payments or removing mail sorting machines and mailboxes.

Before the debate, Democratic Representative Carolyn Maloney, the bill’s author, said: “This is not a partisan issue. 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.”

Ms Pelosi stressed that the USPS was not a business.

President Trump has long been claimed that mail-in ballots would lead to a serious election fraud, but he never justified of provides proof supporting his claims.

You may read: US Postal Service (USPS) warns of risks to mail-in votes