Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has called Congress back into session in the wake of lawmakers outcry that the United States Postal Service is being used as a political pawn for voter suppression. In particular, Democrats are connecting Trump’s strong disapproval of mail-in voting for the upcoming presidential election with the Post Office’s demand for more money if they are going to be able to process the increased flux of mail. Members of the House Judiciary Committee have called for FBI Director Christoper Wray to criminally investigate Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, as they say he has deliberately disrupted mail in order to give President Trump the political advantage this election cycle.
In the letter to the FBI, Congressman Ted Lieu and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries write, “Postmaster General DeJoy donated over $1.2 million to the Trump Victory Fund; hosted Trump for a fundraiser at his home; has no experience as a letter carrier or postal supervisor; and at the time of his appointment was overseeing fundraising for the Republican National Convention. The Postmaster General has also reportedly met with the President and top GOP officials. It is not unreasonable to conclude that Postmaster General DeJoy and the Board of Governors may be executing Donald Trump’s desire to affect mail-in voting.”
Speaker Pelosi has called Congress to come back to vote on the bill, the Delivering for America Act, that will block any changes to the USPS until the election. The House Oversight and Reform Committee have called for DeJoy to testify at a hearing on why the USPS cut costs, and if this was done to inhibit mail-in voting. Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney wrote in the letter to DeJoy, “Your testimony is particularly urgent given the troubling influx of reports of widespread delays at postal facilities across the country — as well as President Trump’s explicit admission last week that he has been blocking critical coronavirus funding for the Postal Service in order to impair mail-in voting efforts for the upcoming elections in November.”
Senator Warren has also called on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring the Senate back from their August recess to address the recent changes to the USPS. In an Interview with NBC, Warren said, “Good for Nancy Pelosi for bringing the House back. I believe Mitch McConnell needs to bring the Senate back as well. People depend on the post office. We’re depending on it for our democracy.”
The recent demands from lawmakers to give additional funding for the Post Office is a result of a USPS letter written to 40 states that their requirements to request, return, and count ballots may be stalled because the Post Office does not believe they will be able to sort and deliver the mail on time. The USPS cites their recent financial trouble as he cause, and that because of their current state, a recent influx of mail is unmanageable.
McConnell is also facing calls from members of his own party to bring the Senate back into session and vote on their own form of a COVID bill that will include $25 billion in funding for the USPS ahead of the November election. In a tweet, Susan Collins from Maine wrote, “The Senate should return this week to consider a COVID-19 package that includes the Postal Service Emergency Assistance Act—a bill I introduced w/ @SenFeinstein in July—which would provide USPS w/ up to $25 billion to cover losses or operational expenses result.”