At a press conference at the U.S. Post Service office downtown Tuesday, Rep. Ed Case demanded that the Trump administration cease undermining the postal agency.
“The administration’s various actions to date, though explained as necessary to ‘improve’ the USPS, can in fact only be viewed a direct and coordinated attack on the USPS,” said Case.
He said the administration’s actions are motivated in part to “disrupt and call into question” voting by mail in this year’s elections, something Case called “an attack on our democracy itself.”
Case’s complaint comes as Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Tuesday said he would “pause changes” to the operations of the Postal Service until after the election “amid bipartisan outcry,” according to The Hill.
Congressman Ed Case adjusts his face mask during a press conference Tuesday at the downtown Post Office. He demanded that the Trump administration back off weakening the USPS.
DeJoy is a Trump appointee who donated heavily to the president’s campaign.
The Postal Service warned 40 states including Hawaii in letters last week that their deadlines to request, return and count ballots “may clash with the realities of mail delivery at a time when the agency is already facing financial troubles, delivery delays and an expected influx of election-related mail.”
Trump, a Republican who currently trails Democrat Joe Biden in most polls, has repeatedly denounced voting by mail as vulnerable to fraud and manipulation, even though he himself has voted by mail in recent elections.
In fact, there is very little evidence that voting by mail is not safe and secure.
Case, a Democrat, said he welcomed DeJoy’s announcement to suspend services but said he has “no illusion” about the administration’s true intentions.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has asked members to return to Washington, D.C., this weekend to vote on legislation to require the Postal Service “to keep up its current delivery standards” until the end of the year,” The Washington Post reported Monday.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring that chamber back into session, too. McConnell has thus far rejected interrupting the August recess and has stated that the Postal Service will “be just fine.”
Attorney General Clare Connors said her office is considering joining other attorneys general in suing the Trump administration over its interference with the Postal Service.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
The House earlier this year approved $25 billion in assistance to the USPS at the urging of the agency’s nonpartisan board of governors. But the funding is part of the COVID-19 stimulus package called the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act that has not been picked up in the Senate.
Case said the House would now focus on passing the Delivering for America Act, which will focus exclusively on the $25 billion and recommendations “on assuring the continued viability and full functioning of the USPS through the 2020 general elections and beyond.”
In the meantime, Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors, who spoke at Case’s press conference, said her office is looking into legal challenges to Trump from attorneys general in Washington state and Pennsylvania.
Both Case and Connors noted that Tuesday marks to the day the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote.
Case said U.S. elections must be “full, fair and free” and added that Hawaii’s primary election earlier this month — the first locally conducted by mail — was a success.
The congressman and the attorney general also pointed out that the Postal Service consistently ranks among the must trusted government institutions.
Case said any disruption to mail service would particularly disservice veterans who depend on receiving medications by mail.
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