WASHINGTON—Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday she will call the House back into session over the funding crisis at the U.S. Postal Service.
Pelosi is cutting short lawmakers summer recess with a vote expected the Saturday after the Democratic National Convention on legislation that would prohibit the agency implement any of the changes to services it had in place on Jan. 1 over disagreements on how the business should operate and resources for the Democrats push for universal mail-in voting.
President Donald Trumps new postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, has sparked outcry over delays, new prices, and cutbacks less than three months before the presidential elections.
“In a time of a pandemic, the Postal Service is Election Central,” Pelosi wrote Sunday in a letter to colleagues. “Lives, livelihoods and the life of our American Democracy are under threat from the president.”
The decision to recall the House was made after a weekend of high-level leadership discussions, during which White House chief of staff Mark Meadows confirmed that Trump would be willing to sign a limited stimulus bill for $1,200 in stimulus payments, loans to small businesses, and expanded federal unemployment benefits tied to Postal Service funding.
Earlier Sunday, Democratic lawmakers demanded that leaders of the Postal Service testify at an emergency oversight hearing Aug. 24 on mail delays.
The House Oversight and Reform Committee said it wants to hear from DeJoy and from the chair of the Postal Service board of governors, Robert “Mike” Duncan.
The legislation being prepared for the vote, the “Delivering for America Act,” would prohibits the Postal Service from implementing any changes to operations or level of service it had in place on Jan. 1.
DeJoy, a major Republican donor and ally of the president who took control of the agency in June, has pledged to modernize the money-losing agency to make it more efficient, and has eliminated most overtime for postal workers, imposed restrictions on transportation, and reduced of the quantity and use of mail-processing equipment.
Trump had said last week that he was blocking a $25 billion emergency injection sought by the Postal Service, as well as a Democratic proposal to provide $3.6 billion in additional election money to the states, although he has indicated he has changed his mind after talks with the other side. Trump has expressed that universal mail-in voting is vulnerable to fraud. Democrats are requesting money for the post office as they push for universal mail-in ballots, arguing that its safer amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Both funding requests have been tied up in congressional negotiations over a new coronavirus relief package.
On Saturday, Trump said he supports increasing money for the Postal Service. But he refused to capitulate to Democrats on other parts of the relief package, including universal mail-in voting and funding for states weighed down by debt accumulated before the pandemic.
“What you are witnessing is a president of the United States who is doing everything he can to suppress the vote, make it harder for people to engage in mail-in balloting at a time when people will be putting their lives on the line by having to go out to a polling station and vote,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
The lawmakers included Pelosi of California and New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the committee chair, along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and Michigan Sen. Gary Peters, the top Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which oversees the Postal Service.
Earlier this month, Maloneys committee hadRead More From Source