Updated Aug 17, 2020 - Politics & Policy

House expected to vote on USPS legislation on Saturday


Photo: https://www.speaker.gov/newsroom/81620-0

The House of Representatives will be called back from August recess on Saturday to consider legislation related to the U.S. Postal Service, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) confirmed on Monday.

Why it matters: Democratic lawmakers say they have been inundated with complaints about policy changes by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy that are disrupting the USPS ahead of an election that will see a record number of mail-in ballots. DeJoy is a former fundraiser for President Trump, who defended him this weekend.

The backdrop: In a "Dear Democratic Colleague" letter on Sunday evening, Pelosi said: "Alarmingly, across the nation, we see the devastating effects of the President’s campaign to sabotage the election by manipulating the Postal Service to disenfranchise voters." 

  • Democrats say constituents are furious about news of the removal of high-speed sorting machines, unbolting of corner mailboxes, and a Postal Service warning to state that ballots may not be delivered in time to be counted.

Democrats plan to keep the issue highly visible, even before the unusual interruption of their time at home in the run-up to the election."

  • "To save the Postal Service," Pelosi wrote, "I am also calling upon Members to participate in a Day of Action on Tuesday by appearing at a Post Office in their districts for a press event."

Details: The expected starting point for legislative action will be a measure introduced by House Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), the "Delivering for America Act," which "would prohibit the Postal Service from dialing back levels of service it had in place" on Jan. 1 until the pandemic ends.

The other side: Meanwhile, Senate Minority Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) issued a statement Sunday evening demanding that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reconvene the Senate.

  • McConnell said at an event Monday that he has no plans to do so, and that the USPS "is going to be just fine," according to AP.
  • McConnell also distanced himself from Trump's complaints, saying: "We’re going to make sure that the ability to function going into the election is not adversely affected. And I don’t share the president’s concerns."

Trump said this weekend that DeJoy "wants to make the post office great again."

  • White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union": "I'll give you that guarantee right now. The president of the United States is not going to interfere with anybody casting their vote in a legitimate way, whether it's the post office or anything else."
Go deeper