WASHINGTON – Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside) on Aug. 22 released the following statement following the passage of the Delivering for America Act in the House.
This legislation would provide $25 billion in funding for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and prohibit the USPS from implementing any changes to the operations or level of service it had in place on Jan. 1, 2020, until the COVID-19 pandemic has ended.
“President Donald Trump and his mega-donor Postmaster General Louis DeJoy are sabotaging the U.S. Postal Service ahead of the November election,” Takano said. “So far, we know that Postmaster General DeJoy has ordered the removal of blue mailboxes in cities across the country, moved 671 mail sorting machines offline, and has cut overtime pay for workers, which prevents them from adequately preparing for a surge in mail volume during election season.
“This is appalling, especially considering that voting by mail is the safest way for millions of voters to cast a ballot in the middle of a pandemic. These actions are a threat to our democracy and our right to vote.
“By disrupting USPS operations, Trump and DeJoy are engaging in voter suppression and affecting an essential service millions of Americans depend on for more than just deliveries. Americans rely on the USPS to receive their medications, to pay their bills, to receive their Social Security checks, and to get important communications.
“Undermining the USPS – especially in the middle of a public health crisis – could have serious consequences for the American people. In fact, I am already hearing from constituents that they are experiencing mail delays.
“As chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, I am particularly concerned about how operational disruptions at USPS could affect veterans. 97,000 veterans work at the USPS and 80% of prescriptions filled by VA are sent via mail. USPS is a lifeline for veterans, and we cannot allow for any changes to negatively affect them.
“The Delivering for America Act will prohibit DeJoy from engaging in any further actions that could jeopardize service at USPS and it provides crucial funding requested by the bipartisan Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service to keep this essential service running.
“We cannot allow Trump and Postmaster General DeJoy to sabotage an institution that millions of Americans rely on and undermine our elections process for political gain. Senate Republicans must listen to the voices of the people who are demanding action and pass this bill immediately. Our democracy depends on it.”
The bill passed largely along party lines, 257-150, with 26 Republicans voting with Democrats. Most Republicans denied the need for new funding and policy changes and accused Democrats of turning the post office into a political football.