U.S. House takes on Postal reforms seen as threat to mail-in ballots

imagePolitics57 minutes ago (Aug 22, 2020 06:20AM ET)

(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Primary election voting in Maryland

By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives will vote on Saturday on providing the cash-strapped Postal Service with $25 billion and block policies that have stirred concerns about mail-in balloting ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

The Democratic-led chamber is widely expected to pass the bill, dubbed the “Delivering for America Act,” at a rare Saturday session called by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the congressional August recess. But it is unlikely to be taken up in the Republican-controlled Senate.

With mail-in voting expected to surge during the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump has alarmed Democrats by repeatedly denouncing mail-in ballots as a possible source of fraud. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy recently suspended cost-cutting measures that have slowed deliveries in recent weeks.

“These changes are causing huge delays, reported all across the country, threatening the effectiveness of the Postal Service and undermining our democracy,” said Democratic Representative Carolyn Maloney, the bill’s author.

DeJoy told a Senate committee on Friday that the Postal Service would deliver ballots “securely and on time” in the November election but said bigger changes could come after that.

Democrats insist that congressional action is necessary. “We cannot trust this administration, period,” House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern said at a hearing that set the parameters for Saturday’s vote.

The White House said on Friday it strongly opposes the bill and would recommend Trump veto it.

Maloney dropped a provision allowing citizens to sue the Postal Service over delays in a bid to attract Republican support.

But Republicans said the bill would hold up needed reforms.

“This bill does nothing to help the Postal Service modernize and improve its services. In fact, it prevents the Postal Service from doing anything to address operational issues,” said Republican Representative James Comer.

U.S. House takes on Postal reforms seen as threat to mail-in ballots

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