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Democrats step up pressure against U.S. postal cuts, Pelosi calls lawmakers back to Washington

PoliticsAug 17, 2020 09:16AM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. Carolyn Maloney leads a hearing about coronavirus preparedness and response in Washington 2/2

By Jonathan Landay and David Lawder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Democrats stepped up pressure on Sunday against a cost-cutting campaign by President Donald Trump's appointed Postal Service chief that they fear will hold up mail-in ballots in November's election, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling lawmakers back and several states considering legal action.

Top Democrats in Congress called on Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and another top postal official to testify this month at a hearing on a wave of cuts that has slowed mail delivery across the country, alarming lawmakers ahead of the Nov. 3 election when up to half of U.S. voters could cast ballots by mail.

Democrats have accused Trump, who is trailing presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden in opinion polls, of trying to hamstring the cash-strapped Postal Service to suppress mail-in voting.

Trump has repeatedly and without evidence said that a surge in mail-in voting would lead to fraud. Voting by mail is nothing new in the United States, as one in four voters cast ballots that way in 2016.

Several Democratic state attorneys general told Reuters they were in discussions about potential legal action to stop Postal Service changes that could affect the election outcome.

"It is outrageous that Donald Trump would attempt to undermine the U.S. Postal Service for electoral gain," Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy told Reuters in a telephone interview, adding that the Republican president's actions raised constitutional, regulatory and procedural questions.

Healy added that counterparts in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, North Carolina, Washington and other states were conferring.

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein declined to say how many states were participating in the legal discussions, adding that North Carolina residents could request ballots now and general ballots would be sent to voters starting on Sept. 4.

"There are many states that share this concern about what the president and the postmaster general are doing to the Postal Service, and are reviewing all legal options available to us to protect the integrity of these elections," Stein told Reuters.

HOUSE BACK TO WASHINGTON

Pelosi, the country's top elected Democrat, said on Sunday she was calling the Democratic-controlled House back to Washington later this week to vote on legislation to protect the Postal Service from what she called Trump's "campaign to sabotage the election by manipulating the Postal Service to disenfranchise voters."

A senior Democratic aide said House lawmakers would likely return on Saturday to vote on the bill, which would prohibit changes to Postal Service levels that were in place on Jan. 1, 2020.

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there were no scheduling updates for the Republican-controlled Senate.

But Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine, a moderate locked in a tight re-election race, said https://twitter.com/SenatorCollins/status/1295161050481004544 on Twitter that the Senate should return this week to consider legislation to provide the Postal Service up to $25 billion in coronavirus funding.

Congressional Democrats also called on DeJoy, a Trump donor, and Postal Service Chairman Robert Duncan to testify at an Aug. 24 hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said the Postal Service's board of governors should remove DeJoy if he "refuses to come before Congress."

DeJoy did not respond to a request for comment.

Trump said on Thursday he had held up talks with Congress over a fresh round of coronavirus stimulus funding to block Democrats from providing more funds for mail-in voting and election infrastructure.

Trump later walked back those comments, saying he would not veto a bill that included funds for the Postal Service.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told CNN on Sunday that he was open to $10 billion to $25 billion in new postal funding. The House approved $25 billion in a bill passed in May.

Mark Dimondstein, head of the 200,000-plus-member American Postal Workers Union, said on Sunday the Postal Service's Republican-dominated governing board sought more than $25 billion.

'TIME FOR CONGRESS TO ACT'

Appearing on Fox News, he said the service required emergency funds because of the coronavirus pandemic-driven economic slowdown, pointing out that it received no funds in a stimulus package passed in March.

"The Congress and this administration took care of the private sector to the tune of over $500 billion," Dimondstein said. "The postal office did not get a dime. It's time for Congress to act."

Meadows told CNN's "State of the Union" that the White House feared a surge in mail-in voting could delay election results and leave the naming of the new president to the speaker of the House.

"A number of states are now trying to figure out how they are going to go to universal mail-in ballots," Meadows said. "That's a disaster where we won't know the election results on Nov. 3 and we might not know it for months and for me that's problematic because the Constitution says that then a Nancy Pelosi in the House would actually pick the president on Jan. 20."

Democrats step up pressure against U.S. postal cuts, Pelosi calls lawmakers back to Washington
 

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Comments (27)
David Merrifield
David Merrifield Aug 17, 2020 6:51PM ET
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This is just another stunt do delegitimize the inevitable Trump/Pence landslide victory. Truth is, democrats want to steal the election through election fraud. If Republicans object to this obvious attempted theft, then regressives will complain that we’re suppressing the vote. What I can’t understand is why the dnc excpects Black America to vote for an old white racist and his *******job proficient VP.
Jo Va
Jo Va Aug 17, 2020 4:19PM ET
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Have you all noticed the increase in Russian trolls supporting trump on most online comment sections over the past 2 weeks? Do these Russian trolls think they are fooling anyone? Way toooooo funny and obvious!!
David Merrifield
David Merrifield Aug 17, 2020 4:19PM ET
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No, but I have seen a lot of Chinese Communist Party trolls campaigning for and donating to the biden campaign.
Jo Va
Jo Va Aug 17, 2020 4:19PM ET
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David Merrifield Like I said... Way toooooo funny and obvious! Ha!
Ndangariro Maketiwa
Ndangariro Maketiwa Aug 17, 2020 12:06PM ET
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Democrats cry louder than an irritated baby.
Jo Va
Jo Va Aug 17, 2020 12:06PM ET
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Trump hasn't stopped crying and whining since his inauguration photo showed the smallest crowd ever.
Patron Silver
Patron Silver Aug 17, 2020 11:07AM ET
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another incompetent pay-for-play position filled. thanks mr. prez
Matt Kay
Matt Kay Aug 17, 2020 10:17AM ET
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Wow, comment section is full of Russian bots these days...
Nick Glaser
Nick Glaser Aug 17, 2020 9:51AM ET
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The post office has been runing a deficit for years. That should stop. Technology has changedMost of us send our tax returns via the mail. There shouldn’t be any more mail in ballots than tax returns. At least I hope not
Tom Romero
Tom Romero Aug 17, 2020 9:51AM ET
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The post office deficit is irrelevant.
Mat Piekutowski
Mat Piekutowski Aug 17, 2020 8:32AM ET
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Sweet and amazing victory of our Donald Trump is coming soon. How splendid, how wonderful. US Constitution guides our President and our economic recovery.
Suman Jutur
Suman Jutur Aug 17, 2020 8:02AM ET
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Trump single handedly handles the entire Democrats. have to give him credit.
Suman Jutur
Suman Jutur Aug 17, 2020 8:00AM ET
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why can't absentee option be used? this is a proven method.
Andrew carson
Andrew carson Aug 17, 2020 6:55AM ET
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We are still being held hostage 🤕by the radical Dems with not even a mention of a stimulus deal now.
Tom Romero
Tom Romero Aug 17, 2020 6:55AM ET
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Pay attention and quit posting ignorant comments.
Tom Romero
Tom Romero Aug 17, 2020 6:55AM ET
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Pay attention and quit posting ignorant comments.
Andrew carson
Andrew carson Aug 17, 2020 6:55AM ET
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Obviously it's you that's not paying attention. Give this man a clue.
Tom Scurlo
Tom Scurlo Aug 16, 2020 10:42PM ET
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So the Democrats go home without making a deal for the Citizens of the Inited States..... but they RUN back to Washington if they that they may lose an Election. Doesn’t this anyone where the Democrats priorities are located????
ROBERT MARTINEZ
ROBERT MARTINEZ Aug 16, 2020 10:42PM ET
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republicans hide in the closet!
Tom Scurlo
Tom Scurlo Aug 16, 2020 10:42PM ET
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ROBERT MARTINEZ The Republicans can back with 4 counter offers during the negotiations and the Dems moved nowhere. Who is hiding?????
Kelly Mayer
Kelly Mayer Aug 16, 2020 10:17PM ET
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Does anyone know why Biden is still running? Outside of MSM no one has any sort of positive view on this guy's cognitive capacity to be the commanding chief of the US... They give him 18 months at best before resigning. He avoids the press... Doubt they will put him against Trump when it comes to debates... And China, Russia, N. Korea would own the US if he got elected (which by now you know that will not happen). You're essentially voting for this Kamala person for president. A newbie... God help us all. Pelosi? Burn the witch (ok, joking, but u get the point)
mark johnson
mark johnson Aug 16, 2020 9:48PM ET
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Maybe the post office shouldnt need money if there are leas letters to deliver. Should UPS and Fedex get that money instead? Id say usps doesnt pay for parking tickets and thats their leg up against ups and fed ex and they stull cant get their act together.
impozible cutz barbers
impozible cutz barbers Aug 16, 2020 9:46PM ET
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people can put a mask and go to work ,the supermarket ,keeping 6 feet apart on social distancing and also can go to vote like we always do in person .come on people is 300 million people in the united states .thats a lot of work for the u.s postal service .then get them back to be counted it will take weeks to know who the president is.lets keep things simple .put a mask on and go put your ballot and your vote.simple....end of the story
Keith Friedly
Keith Friedly Aug 16, 2020 8:26PM ET
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Maybe Pelosi should get the stimulus done before she worries about the post office
Plopseven Schwartz
Plopseven Schwartz Aug 16, 2020 8:26PM ET
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Republicans already embezzled the whole CARES act. No money left for citizens, just corporations.
Frederick Chotsky
Chotsky Aug 16, 2020 7:11PM ET
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Dems: listen to Fauci! Fauci: There's no reason people shouldn't be able to go out to vote. Dems: Fauci is a fraud!
Mat Piekutowski
Mat Piekutowski Aug 16, 2020 7:11PM ET
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So true. While we grow in strength and secure Trump's victory, poor dems swirl in a spiral of massive mental problems that need a doctor - Donald Trump Administration is that doctor.
ROBERT MARTINEZ
ROBERT MARTINEZ Aug 16, 2020 6:34PM ET
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they gotta cheat, is the only way tramp could win this election
William Smith
William Smith Aug 16, 2020 6:34PM ET
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The only cheaters are all the dead folks voting democrat.
Frederick Chotsky
Chotsky Aug 16, 2020 6:34PM ET
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ROBERT MARTINEZ Here's one piece of proof among a multitude. Detroit had 511,786 registered voters, from a population that has 479,267 eligible voters. The difference is dead folks.
Frederick Chotsky
Chotsky Aug 16, 2020 6:34PM ET
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total population figures include children, migrant workers, and other classes that are ineligible to vote. My numbers are from Detroit city statistics. You resort to personal attacks, rather than looking at facts.
Wrongway Whiplash
Wrongway Whiplash Aug 16, 2020 6:34PM ET
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Frederick Chotsky  yes your right Chotsky,  they dropped their lawsuit because some of the handful of errors they came up with were corrected. They also claimed 30k fraudulent voters at one time. You and I both know what their really about
Cameron peery
Cameron peery Aug 16, 2020 4:14PM ET
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except for the fact that president admitted that is exactly what he's doing. I just love the faux patriotism of the people willing to RIP up the constitution. if you want to play blind just look straight into the light.
JD Marshall
JD Marshall Aug 16, 2020 3:53PM ET
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that facts anyone can support these Democrats blows my mind. Corruption at its finest
Michael Jerome
Michael Jerome Aug 16, 2020 3:38PM ET
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Trump doesnt abide by the laws set by The (un)United States of America. And since trump has turned the supreme court almost completely republican (life-long positions mind you) The Supreme Court has confirmed he doesnt have to follow the (Un)US laws. Therefor, whatever the (un)united states says, does not apply to donny and his peers. The problem to everything thats happening rught now is that the dems abide by one system that the reps hardly even acknowledge, while the white house tries to apparently juggle both while neither seems to have any progressive status whatsoever.Its a real life version of Whos Line Is It Anyway.All of the rules are made up and the points dont matter.
Kevin Wilkie
Kevin Wilkie Aug 16, 2020 3:14PM ET
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another hearing by Congressional Democrats, that's all they know.
Jo Va
Jo Va Aug 16, 2020 3:14PM ET
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Violating the Constitution, protecting a Putin elected president, and promoting unheard of greed, corruption, and negligence in honoring their sworn duty are all the Repugs know.
Tom Thumb
Tom Thumb Aug 16, 2020 3:11PM ET
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congress is a fraud
Nils Hullmann
Nils Hullmann Aug 16, 2020 2:54PM ET
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uhhhhnj
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Aug 16, 2020 12:54PM ET
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Dem is trying to get young voters to vote. Rarely few youngs go to the poll. If all youngs vote, it will be Dem total victory.
Jeff Gordon
Jeff Gordon Aug 16, 2020 12:54PM ET
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You are on thus site and a democrat? um sir, I think you are lost...homeless perhaps?
Rahul Sharma
Rahul Sharma Aug 16, 2020 12:54PM ET
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Jeff Gordon  , pure gold!
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Aug 16, 2020 12:52PM ET
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universal is a fraud.
 
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