Democrats Push for USPS Policy Changes Ahead of Election

Shutterstock

The new Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, was only recently appointed by Donald Trump. However, in his short time in that position, DeJoy has made sweeping changes to the way the United States Postal Service is run. Democrats including Amy Klobuchar, Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren have called on the USPS Board of Governors to reverse DeJoy’s recent slate of changes.

Part of DeJoy’s sudden changes to the Postal Service have included the reduction of sorting machines and the removal of drop-off boxes. DeJoy and the White House have claimed that these moves are cost-saving measures. However, Donald Trump himself has confirmed that he opposes mail-in voting on the unsubstantiated claim that it’s prone to fraud. As such, Trump opposes relief funding for the USPS, and has championed policies designed to kneecap the organization.

USPS Sabotage

Many prominent Democrats have accused Trump and DeJoy of sabotaging the USPS for political gain. DeJoy’s measures have been described as “cost-cutting,” but they have led to massive delays in shipping and sorting times. This has led the USPS to warn most states that their mail-in voters’ ballots might not be sorted in time for the election window.

Voting rights activists have slammed Trump and DeJoy for these moves. They have accused Republicans of weaponizing the USPS in order to stifle the election. Since the COVID-19 pandemic continues sickening people every day, in-person voting remains a daunting proposition for many Americans. It’s likely that a number of in-person polling places will not open due to concerns regarding the virus.

Democrats in Congress Move to Block DeJoy

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has announced plans to call the House of Representatives back from a break in order to address the situation. The House will vote on Representative Carolyn Maloney’s bill, which would block DeJoy’s changes from taking effect until after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed.

Given that Democrats enjoy the majority in the House, they could likely pass the bill in the lower chamber. The issue, however, is that the Senate, which has a Republican majority, may stifle the bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is infamous for opposing Democratic initiatives.

Progressive Voices Ascendant

Also among the voices calling for DeJoy’s censure or even removal is progressive champion Bernie Sanders. Sanders is an independent Senator from Vermont. The senator ran a very popular but ultimately unsuccessful bid for president in 2016 and 2020.

He has been a vocal proponent of socialist reform in the US. Many have cited Sanders’ 2016 campaign as inspiring the wave of progressive newcomers to the House of Representatives in 2018.