President Donald Trump and newly appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy continue to undermine the postal service with just eleven weeks away from a presidential election that will heavily rely on mail-in ballots.
Since assuming his role on June 15, longtime financial supporter of the GOP and million-dollar donor to Trump’s campaign, Postmaster General DeJoy has gutted the United States Postal Service. This overhaul[ includes terminating 23 postal executives then hiring new ones; removing 671 high volume mail processing machines at facilities across the country; prohibiting employee overtime; and removing a significant amount of mailboxes in key voting areas.
According to DeJoy, the changes he implemented are necessary for the financial stability of the Postal Service. “Over the years we have grown undisciplined in our mail and package processing schedules, causing an increase in delayed mail between processing facilities and delivery units,” said Dejoy. But, these changes slowed the delivery of mail. Ark Republic reported priority mail packages set to deliver in two days took two weeks.” But, these changes slowed the delivery of mail. Ark Republic reported priority mail packages set to deliver in two days took two weeks.
Concurrently, as the cold and flu season approach, health officials warn of a second wave of COVID-19 more severe than the first. As concerns about health and well-being rise, a vast majority of Americans have opted to use mail in ballots as a means to participate in the 2020 election. However, according to President Trump, mail in voting leads to widespread voter fraud.
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The HEROES Act which passed the House, but not the Senate includes $25 billion to save the USPS. In an interview with Fox Business on Thursday , President Trump stated:
“They need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all these millions and millions of ballots. Now, if we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money. That means they can’t have universal mail in voting, they just can’t have it.”
The recent actions by Postmaster General DeJoy and President Trump have left Democrats in the House and the Senate up in arms. According to federal law 18 U.S.C 1703, the delay or destruction of mail or newspapers is prohibited.
On Monday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi tweeted, “The assault by President Trump and his mega-donor Postmaster General DeJoy on the Postal Service threatens lives, livelihood & life of our American democracy. I am calling on the House to return to vote on Chairwoman Maloney’s “Delivering for America Act.”
Speaker Pelosi’s efforts work to maintain prompt and reliable postal services during the COVID-19 health emergency. Additionally, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Pelosi requested that Postmaster General DeJoy testify before Congress as early as next week.
Adding more pressure, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) called on FBI Director Chris Wray to open a criminal probe into Postmaster General DeJoy, as well as, members of the Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service.
In an interview with MSNBC news, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) stated, “I guess what they believe is that if you can suppress the vote by making it impossible for millions of people to vote. . . But I believe that is beyond outrageous and that we have got to do everything we can to fund the Postal Service, not force people to make a choice about putting their lives on the line or getting sick by going to a polling station as opposed to being able to vote from their homes.”
Even Arizona State Secretary Katie Hobbs tweeted on August 14, “In Arizona, it’s against the law to “delay the delivery of a ballot.” I’ve asked Attorney General Brnovich to investigate recent changes at USPS, and whether or not the Trump administration has committed a crime.
On the same day Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-NJ) tweeted, “Tonight I’ve made a criminal referral to the New Jersey Attorney General asking him to empanel a grand jury to look at subversion of NJ election laws by Donald Trump, Louis DeJoy, and other Trump officials in their accelerating arson of the post office.” United States Attorney General William Barr has yet to release a statement about DeJoy’s recent changes to USPS.
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