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Protesters hold a "Save the Post Office" demonstration outside a USPS building in Los Angeles, California, on August 22. Photo: Kyle Grillot/AFP via Getty Images

The House voted 257-150 on Saturday to give the U.S. Postal Service $25 billion and to block and reverse the operational changes that are leading to widespread mail delays. 26 Republicans supported the measure, but the bill is unlikely to move forward after a White House veto threat.

Why it matters: More Americans than ever are expected to vote by mail during the coronavirus pandemic, but on-time delivery for priority and first class mail has continued to drop since early July.

Catch up quick: DeJoy this week suspended his proposed cost-cuts to the USPS until after the 2020 election to "avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail."

  • Democrats' bill would keep USPS leaders from making changes that "impede prompt, reliable, and efficient services" to mail delivery through January 2021.
  • The bill would require all election mail to be handled as first class and ban removing or decommissioning sorting machines and collection boxes — following reports from Oregon, Montana, Manhattan and Pennsylvania that the Postal Service was unbolting and hauling away mailboxes.

What they're saying: The bill, introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), received total support from Democrats, who argue the policies previously implemented by DeJoy, a Trump mega-donor, fed President Trump's efforts to "sabotage the election by manipulating the Postal Service," as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi put it in a letter to colleagues last week.

  • GOP support: Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), who voted in favor of the bill, called for a bipartisan effort to "address serious challenges USPS has been facing for quite some time now." Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) said he believed "a healthy, functioning Post Office is critical to our nation's wellbeing."
  • Maloney released an internal USPS briefing prior to the House vote that detailed ongoing delays for priority and first class mail. "To those who still claim there are 'no delays' and that these reports are just 'conspiracy theories,' I hope this new data causes them to re-think their position and support our urgent legislation today," she said.
  • Trump tweeted ahead of the vote: "Representatives of the Post Office have repeatedly stated that they DO NOT NEED MONEY, and will not make changes."

The other side: During a hearing before the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Friday, DeJoy asserted that the Postal Service "is fully capable and committed to delivering the nation’s election mail fully and on time."

  • He later said he was "extremely highly confident" that any ballots mailed seven days before the election would be delivered on time, and denied having any substantive policy conversations with Trump about USPS reforms.

What's next: DeJoy will testify before the House Oversight Committee on Monday.

  • Maloney chairs the committee.

The USPS declined to comment.

Go deeper

Nov 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Nancy Pelosi re-elected as House Democratic leader

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi arrives for her weekly press conference. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was re-elected Wednesday to serve as House Democrats' leader, preserving her role as the key Democratic player in Congress and solidifying her power alongside a future Biden administration.

Why it matters: Pelosi's re-election, which took place remotely via voice vote, sets her up to be re-elected as speaker in January and follows a disappointing election for House Democrats, who lost several seats, undercutting the party's major gains from the 2018 midterms.

Updated 1 hour ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Teens and adults missed 37 million vaccinations during COVID — Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker

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