Press Releases

DelBene Votes to Save the U.S. Postal Service and Protect Peoples’ Right to Vote

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Washington, D.C., August 22, 2020 | comments

Today, with the U.S. Postal Service under assault from the Trump administration, the House passed H.R. 8015, the Delivering for America Act passed with Congresswoman Suzan DelBene’s (WA-01) support. The Delivering for America Act requires the Postal Service to return to the operations and levels of service that were in place on January 1, 2020 throughout the duration of the coronavirus public health emergency and requires all election mail to be treated as First-Class mail. It also provides $25 billion in critical funding for the Postal Service, the same level of funding recommended by the USPS Board of Governors, which is composed entirely of President Trump’s appointees.

The vote comes as newly uncovered internal Postal Service documents have emerged, warning Postmaster General DeJoy about increasing delays of mail delivery nationwide over the last two months. Yet despite the urgent need for action, Congressional Republicans and the Trump administration have repeatedly claimed that there are “no delays” with the mail and “no data,” suggesting the delays are no more than “conspiracy theories.”

“The Postal Service is essential to the fabric of our communities, integral to our democracy, and vital for families’ survival during the ongoing pandemic,” said DelBene. “However, the Trump administration and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy have decided to wage an outrageous campaign against the Postal Service, degrading postal operations and delaying mail delivery just months before a Presidential election and possibly disenfranchising millions of voters. The Trump administration’s actions are not just threatening the integrity of our election – I have heard from over 4,000 constituents about how critical medication has been delayed, important paperwork has taken weeks to arrive, and late fees have been assessed due to bills and payments not reaching their destination in time.

“Today, House Democrats took decisive action to restore the Postal Service to its full function. With my support, the House passed the Delivering for America Act to return the Postal Service to the same level of operations as it maintained on January 1 of this year, reversing any and all so-called ‘operational changes’ that have been made by the Postmaster General during this pandemic. We need a fully functioning Postal Service, especially during this pandemic, and House Democrats will not stand idle while administration jeopardizes the integrity of the election and unduly burdens the American people.”

The Delivering for America Act would prohibit:

  • Any change that would generally affect service on a nationwide or substantially nationwide basis;
  • Any revision of existing service standards;
  • Closing, consolidating or reducing the hours of any post office or postal facility;
  • Any prohibition on paying overtime to Postal Service officers or employees;
  • Any change that would prevent the Postal Service from meeting its service standards or cause a decline in measurements of performance relative to those standards; and
  • Any change that would have the effect of delaying mail or increasing the volume of undelivered mail.

This legislation will also:

  • Include $25 billion requested by the Postal Service and supported unanimously and on a bipartisan basis by the Trump-appointed Postal Board of Governors;
  • Require the Postal Service to treat all official election mail as First-Class mail;
  • Prohibit the removal, decommissioning or other stoppage of mail sorting machines, other than for routine maintenance;
  • Prohibit the removal of mailboxes; and
  • Explicitly reverse any changes already implemented to the operations or policies of the Postal Service that delay mail delivery.

Earlier this week, Congresswoman DelBene held an event with Congressman Rick Larsen (WA-02) in Everett to denounce the Trump administration’s attacks on the USPS. Watch footage from the event here.

DelBene also introduced the Resilient Elections During Quarantines and Natural Disasters Act (H.R. 6202) with Rep. Earl Blumenauer in March, which would require states and localities to create and administer plans to operate their elections in the event of quarantines advised by public health and government officials, and requires states to offer all voters the ability to vote by absentee ballot if a quarter of all states have declared an emergency related to an infectious disease or a natural disaster.

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