House approves $25 billion boost for Postal Service

Brushing aside a veto threat from President Trump, the U.S. House voted Saturday to give the Postal Service a $25 billion infusion of money, both to reverse recent internal changes which have caused a slowdown in mail delivery, and to insure the U.S. mail can handle an expect increase in voting by mail for the November elections.


"The Postmaster General is directly attacking the fundamental rights and well-being of all Americans," said Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), as Democrats denounced recent changes which have seen sorting machines taken out of postal facilities around the nation.


"Don't mess with USPS," said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), in a line echoed by other Democrats during an unusual Saturday session between the two party conventions.


During debate, Democrats rattled off a number of examples of folks back home who weren’t getting prescriptions and other needed items on time in the mail, showing off new data from the Postal Service which shows delays began in July.

Republicans belittled the plan from Democrats, saying it was all politics and an election year sideshow meant to attack President Donald Trump.


"My Democratic friends are blaming the President as though he's involved in voter suppression," said Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA).


Hice and other GOP lawmakers suggested other reasons for the recent mail delivery delays - like the Coronavirus, or even protests in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd.


"Would you want to deliver mail in Portland today?" asked Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).


231 Democrats were joined by 26 Republicans in voting for the measure, showing the tales of mail delays weren’t just happening for one party.

"The United States Postal Service plays a vital role in the lives of my constituents, particularly those in rural communities, from ensuring their ballots are counted to paying their bills and receiving lifesaving medication," said Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH), one of four Ohio Republicans to break ranks on the bill.


Four New York Republicans also voted for the plan, along with both Republicans from New Jersey. And it won support from GOP lawmakers in states like Nebraska, Missouri, and Texas as well.


But with the Postmaster General saying the extra money is not needed - and President Trump threatening a veto - the plan is not expected to get a vote in the U.S. Senate.

Jamie Dupree, CMG Washington News Bureau

Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau

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