Chamber pass the financial accounts for postal services

Democratic U.S. Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Dan Kildee rally in support of the United States Postal Service (USPS) outside a post office in Southfield, Michigan, US August 18, 2020.

Rebecca Cook | Reuters

The House of Representatives on Saturday passed a bill to insert emergency funds into the U.S. Postal Service and reverse changes that have hindered mail delivery.

The measure went into a vote of 257-150. Twenty-six House Republicans supported the bill.

The legislation approved by the Democratic-held chamber would put $ 25 billion in the coffers. It would also repeal recent revisions under Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, such as limits on overtime and reduced hours of amenities, that Democrats feared would hinder the processing of an unusual number of mail-in votes during the coronavirus pandemic.

While Republicans oppose the proposal, it has little chance of getting through the GOP-controlled Senate. However, a group of Republican and Democratic senators have proposed a plan to put $ 25 billion into the postal service. It is unclear if or when the chamber will attempt to pass the measure.

Chamber member Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Called the House back from its recession in August to pass the bill. The move follows a riot over widespread mail delays, resulting in DeJoy’s attempt to cut costs for the postal service.

DeJoy, a Republican donor, said this week that he would reverse some changes in the postal service to prevent an attempt to influence the election. In a testimony Friday before a House of Representatives panel spoke on concerns that the Trump administration’s changes would delay essential mail delivery or even deny voting rights, he said the post office would not replace collection boxes and mail sorting machines it already has. removed.

The postmaster general said USPS will be able to process the flurry of post-in ballots in the November elections. But Trump, who has repeatedly made unfounded claims that postal voting leads to rampant fraud, said a lack of funds for postal services “means you can not have universal post-voting.”

Democrats have called for the postal service to be rescued as part of a fifth coronavirus relief package that Congress is struggling to reach. While Trump has previously opposed $ 25 billion more in USPS, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said this week that the president would be “open to looking at” that much funding.

Pelosi met with speakers from about half of her caucus to pass a bill to bring back the $ 600-a-week improved unemployment insurance scheme when the House of Representatives returned to make amends for the postal services measure. The added benefit that millions of people face as companies shut down during the pandemic expired in late July.

The speaker dropped those requests in a letter to House Democrats on Thursday. She has said several times that she would not pass a bill that would take a narrow approach to fighting the coronavirus, although she resubmitted the House to vote only on the bill for postal services.

“The ideas put forward by members were excellent and I have shared them with the chairmen of the jurisdictional committees to be part of our legislative agenda,” she wrote. “However, we need to consider their timing and strategic value. They can not come at the expense of addressing the priorities of the Heroes Act – especially support for our heroes in state and local government and education, who are in crisis. “

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