Speaker Pelosi to call US House back into session to vote on Postal Service bill

WION Web Team
Washington, DC, United States of America Published: Aug 17, 2020, 08:27 AM(IST)

Nancy Pelosi Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

President Donald Trump's new postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, has sparked nationwide outcry over delays, new prices and cutbacks just as millions of Americans will be trying to vote by mail to avoid polling places during the coronavirus outbreak.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling the House back into session over the crisis at the US Postal Service, setting up a political showdown. This comes ahead of the November presidential election, amid growing concerns that the Trump White House is trying to undermine the agency ahead of the election.

President Donald Trump's new postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, has sparked nationwide outcry over delays, new prices and cutbacks just as millions of Americans will be trying to vote by mail to avoid polling places during the coronavirus outbreak.

"In a time of a pandemic, the Postal Service is Election Central," Pelosi wrote Sunday in a letter to colleagues, who had been expected to be out of session until September.

Voting in the House will highlight the issue after the weeklong convention nominating Joe Biden as the party's presidential pick and pressure the Republican-held Senate to respond.

Earlier Sunday, Democratic lawmakers demanded that leaders of the Postal Service testify at an emergency oversight hearing August 24 on mail delays.

With heightened scrutiny of its operations, the Postal Service is now requesting a temporary preelection rate increase, from mid-October through Christmas, although not for first-class letters.

House Democrats are expected to discuss the lawmakers' schedule details on a conference call on Monday and were likely to be in session next Saturday.

The legislation being prepared for the vote, the "Delivering for America Act", would prohibits the Postal Service from implementing any changes to operations or level of service it had in place on January 1.

Trump said last week that he was blocking a $25 billion emergency injection sought by the Postal Service, as well as a Democratic proposal to provide $3.6 billion in additional election money to the states. The Republican president worries that mail-in voting could cost him reelection.

The president's critics were not appeased, contending that Trump has made the calculation that a lower voter turnout would improve his chances of winning a second term.

Trump, who spent the weekend at his New Jersey golf club, has derided universal mail-in voting as a "scam" and defended DeJoy as the right person to 'streamline the post office and make it great again.'

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