The US House of Representatives will today convene to vote on a US Postal Service (USPS) bill proposed by Democrats after Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a key ally of President Donald Trump, announced a pause to controversial service adjustments earlier this week.
The bill includes $25 billion in additional funding and explicitly prohibits any impediments to USPS operations caused by recent policy changes. DeJoy has come under fire following his sweeping operational overhaul of the USPS in the run-up to November’s contentious presidential election, which is set to process an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots due to COVID-19 restrictions. DeJoy’s proposed changes included sorting centre closures, severe cuts to overtime pay and constraints on processing ability.
Concerns have grown in response to recent USPS warnings, which have raised significant questions regarding the agency’s capacity to process all mail-in ballots. The changes could invalidate a large number of votes on Election Day and pave the way for Trump to de-legitimise a potential loss, as he tried to do in 2016 by claiming widespread voter fraud. Consequently, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have called for an immediate reversal. Expect the crisis to be short-lived in the face of acute backlash, as DeJoy has already rolled back his alterations and more than 200 members of Congress have co-sponsored the Democrats’ USPS proposal. Expect today’s vote to provide critical momentum to the Democrats as they seek to account for all variables, secure their bid and set the stage for a fair and competitive election.
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Daniel is an analyst and editor on the Current Developments team. He contributes regularly to the Daily Brief, focusing primarily on European, Middle Eastern and sub-Saharan politics.