Democratic U.S Reps. Adam Schiff and Judy Chu added their votes in support of House Resolution 8015, the Delivering for America Act, a bill aimed at saving the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), and the right to vote from changes to both by the Trump administration.
The legislation, which passed by a 257-150 House vote, prohibits the Postal Service from implementing or approving any changes to the operations or service levels in effect on Jan. 1 that would impede prompt, reliable, and efficient service.
The prohibition remains in effect during the duration of the coronavirus public health emergency, or January 2021, whichever is later and requires the postal service to treat all election mail as first-class mail.
The bill would provide $25 billion in emergency appropriations for the Postal Service, the level of funding recommended by the USPS board of governors.
“The president has made clear in multiple interviews, tweets, and statements that he intentionally set out to sabotage the Post Office in order to undermine the ability of Americans to vote from home,” said Chu, who represents Pasadena. “This is not only a threat to our democracy, but also to people’s health as voting from home is necessary to help contain the spread of the coronavirus this year. It’s not only the election that’s at risk. People depend on the mail for checks and medicines. And small businesses – which are relying on mail more than ever thanks to this pandemic – would be devastated by this arbitrary slowdown in services.”
Chu and Schiff, whose district includes portions of Pasadena, both held separate events at post offices last week to declare their intentions to defend the postal service.
“Every day, millions of Americans rely on the USPS – to receive medications, conduct business, stay in contact, and, beginning in just a few weeks, vote by mail. That’s why I just voted to protect the USPS from damage and delays resulting from the actions of the Trump Administration’s Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy,” said Schiff.
“While the postmaster general has suspended his sweeping new restrictions that are negatively impacting veterans, small businesses, and everyday Americans, we have a ways to go. These policies must be reversed and critically needed funding for the USPS must be provided.”
The vote came as Democrats attempted to stop Trump from trying to strongarm the USPS in order to suppress the vote in November’s election.
Trump has continued to make unfounded assertions that mail-in voting is prone to fraud, despite having no evidence to back up that claim.
Last week, Trump admitted that he opposes funding for the USPS because he doesn’t want to see it used for mail-in voting in November.
Postal workers across the country have expressed concerns over changes that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Trump fundraiser, has made since taking over in June that they said were causing massive delivery delays.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have worried about the impact such lags could have on the November election, which is expected to see a surge in mail-in voting because of the current pandemic.
The White House criticized the bill.
“The administration strongly opposes passage of H.R. 8015. Instead of reforming the United States Postal Service to ensure its continued viability in the modern economy, H.R. 8015 would arbitrarily give USPS $25 billion in ‘emergency’ taxpayer funding, without linking that funding to either the COVID-19 pandemic or the upcoming election,” reads a statement released by the Office of Management and Budget.