President Trump dismissed allegations from Congressional Democrats that his administration is trying to “sabotage” the election by reforming the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and cutting its deficit.
Trump appeared on Fox News on Monday morning and addressed allegations made by leading Democrats such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s efforts to reform post office operations amount to election interference.
“I’m just making it good,” Trump said, according to Fox News. “We have a very, very good business guy running it, and … I want to make the post office great again.”
“And we’re making it so it is going to be good and we’re going to take care of our postal workers above all,” Trump continued. “We’re not firing people.”
“What am I supposed to do? Let it continue to run badly? So if you fix it they say, ‘Oh, he’s tampering with the election,’” Trump said. “No, we’re not tampering.”
DeJoy, a former shipping executive and GOP donor, is running a trial program in about 200 cities called Expedited to Street/Afternoon Sortation (ESAS). The program is designed to cut down the number of overtime hours that postal employees work, which cost the independent agency more than $1 billion in 2018, a 31% increase over the year before.
The pilot operation switches post office employees’ morning and afternoon/evening duties. Typically, employees have done office work in the morning while waiting for the mail to arrive before going out on delivery. No matter when the route starts, it must be finished that day and has led to USPS workers putting in substantial overtime.
DeJoy’s arrangement makes employees run the delivery route in the morning with whatever mail is in, then return to the office in the afternoon to finish office work and leave on time. The trade-off, then, is customers receive mail about 12 hours later than normal, and the USPS spends less on overtime.
Pelosi accused Trump and DeJoy of attempting to undermine the 2020 election while threatening the lives of Americans who receive medication through mail. The House speaker sent a public letter to her colleagues in the House on Sunday calling the reforms “sabotage,” saying in part:
The Postal Service is a pillar of our democracy, enshrined in the Constitution and essential for providing critical services: delivering prescriptions, Social Security benefits, paychecks, tax returns and absentee ballots to millions of Americans, including in our most remote communities.
Alarmingly, across the nation, we see the devastating effects of the President’s campaign to sabotage the election by manipulating the Postal Service to disenfranchise voters. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, one of the top Trump mega-donors, has proven a complicit crony as he continues to push forward sweeping new operational changes that degrade postal service, delay the mail, and – according to the Postal Service itself – threaten to deny the ability of eligible Americans to cast their votes through the mail in the upcoming elections in a timely fashion. These delays also threaten the health and economic security of the American people by delaying delivery of life-saving medicines and payments. In 2019, 1.2 billion prescriptions were delivered through the Postal Services, including almost 100 percent from the VA to veterans.
Lives, livelihoods and the life of our American Democracy are under threat from the President.
Pelosi called an end to the House’s summer recess and announced that the chamber would resume session this week to craft legislation addressing the alleged crisis at the USPS.
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