With outrage over postal delays growing, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling the House of Representatives back from August recess to vote on legislation blocking Donald Trump and his lackeys from continuing their sabotage of the U.S. Postal Service. Trump’s aim, which he has directly admitted, is to make it impossible for the Postal Service to effectively process ballots for voting by mail. But the effort to prevent that is affecting other mail as well.
“In 2019, 1.2 billion prescriptions were delivered through the Postal Services, including almost 100 percent from the VA to veterans,” Pelosi pointed out in a letter to House Democrats. “Lives, livelihoods and the life of our American Democracy are under threat from the President.”
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy will testify in front of the House Oversight and Reform Committee on August 24.
The bill the House will vote on prohibits the Postal Service from changing levels of service or operations from their January 2020 level before January 2021 or the end of the pandemic. Pelosi also called on House Democrats to hold events at post offices in their districts.
Of course, once the House passes such a bill, it goes to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s legislative graveyard—unless public pressure on this issue is so overwhelming that even McConnell can’t ignore it. As we’ve seen, “too much pressure for McConnell to ignore” is an extremely high bar to clear, even despite the concerns of a few vulnerable Republican senators in heavily mail-dependent states.
In addition to the planned House legislation, a number of Democratic attorneys general are considering legal action, with Washington State expected to file a lawsuit this week. Anyone filing such a lawsuit will have cause to thank Trump for being so very clear—not once but twice!—about his motives in refusing to include Postal Service funding in a coronavirus stimulus package. “Now they need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” he said, and “if they don't get those two items that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting.” That’s his plan. Democrats have a limited time to get in his way, so it’s good to see them moving with urgency, and with public attention so focused on the mail delays that Trump’s postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, has already created.