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Trump says he'll sign USPS funding if Democrats make concessions

President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit MORE on Friday said he will approve billions of dollars in funding for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) as part of a coronavirus relief package if Democrats make concessions on certain White House priorities.

"Sure, if they gave us what we want. And it’s not what I want, it’s what the American people want," Trump said during a news conference.

The president then read off a series of tweets that he sent shortly before the briefing, including one that said he was directing the Treasury Department to ready direct payments to Americans. He clarified at the news conference that he was not looking to take unilateral action on the payments but was waiting for Congress to approve it.

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Trump also blamed Democrats for holding up additional money for small businesses and funding for local police departments, first responders and teachers.

At the same time, the president has been adamantly opposed to Democratic demands for billions in aid to state governments, deriding it as a bailout even though some of that money would likely be used to fund some of the departments Trump cited in his tweet.

Democrats have pushed for $25 billion in USPS funding, an amount Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday was recommended by the agency's board of governors. Democratic leaders have proposed an additional $3.5 billion in supplemental funding to be used for election resources amid the ongoing pandemic.

Trump has sent mixed signals in recent days about his willingness to fund the USPS, which has come under intense bipartisan scrutiny amid concerns that it may be unable to handle the delivery and receipt of mail-in ballots during the upcoming election.

Trump on Thursday morning suggested he was opposed to USPS funding because it would help universal mail-in voting this fall. He has repeatedly alleged that mail-in ballots will lead to fraud, though experts have insisted that is not the case and the president himself requested a mail-in ballot for the upcoming Florida congressional primary.

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The president later on Thursday said he would be willing to sign legislation that includes funding for the USPS, but rejected the idea that the agency should reverse policies that Democratic lawmakers warn will hamper mail-in voting.

Election officials are expecting voters to rely more heavily on mail-in ballots in November due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to fewer polling places and raised concerns about at-risk individuals casting ballots in person.

Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - COVID-19 fears surround Thanksgiving holiday Feinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight Whitehouse says Democratic caucus will decide future of Judiciary Committee MORE (D-Calif.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTwo more parting shots from Trump aimed squarely at disabled workers Trump transition order follows chorus of GOP criticism The Memo: Trump election loss roils right MORE (R-Maine), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Kerry says Paris climate deal alone 'is not enough' | EPA halts planned Taiwan trip for Wheeler| EPA sued over rule extending life of toxic coal ash ponds Overnight Energy: Biden names John Kerry as 'climate czar' | GM reverses on Trump, exits suit challenging California's tougher emissions standards | United Nations agency says greenhouse gas emissions accumulating despite lockdown decline GSA transition delay 'poses serious risk' to Native Americans, Udall says MORE (D-Del.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiTrump administration denies permit for controversial Pebble Mine Trump transition order follows chorus of GOP criticism The Memo: Trump election loss roils right MORE (R-Alaska), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterOvernight Defense: Trump loyalist to lead Pentagon transition | Democrats ask VA for vaccine distribution plan | Biden to get classified intel reports Senate Democrats press VA for vaccine distribution plan President is wild card as shutdown fears grow MORE (D-Mont.), Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesRick Scott tests positive for coronavirus Biden eyes new leadership at troubled public lands agency OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee | Forest Service finalizes rule weakening environmental review of its projects | Biden to enlist Agriculture, Transportation agencies in climate fight MORE (R-Mont.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Dan SullivanDaniel Scott SullivanTrump administration proposal takes aim at bank pledges to avoid fossil fuel financing McSally, staff asked to break up maskless photo op inside Capitol Capitol's COVID-19 spike could be bad Thanksgiving preview MORE (R-Alaska), Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsDemocrats face increasing pressure to back smaller COVID-19 stimulus Biden rolls out national security team Democrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks MORE (D-Del.) and Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsTrump's controversial Fed nominee stalled after Senate setback Business groups scramble to forge ties amid race for House Agriculture chair Republicans hold on to competitive Kansas House seat MORE (R-Kan.) requested in May that Congress provide direct aid to the USPS in the next stimulus package.

However, talks have remained at a standstill with little signs of progress. The Senate adjourned on Thursday, further dampening the likelihood of an agreement this month.

“House and Senate Democrats call on the President to immediately cease his assault on the Postal Service, make clear that he will allow the 2020 election to proceed without his sabotage tactics and enable the American people the same opportunity he and the First Lady requested this week to vote by absentee ballot," Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGovernors take heat for violating their own coronavirus restrictions Spending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerUS national security policy in the 117th Congress and a new administration Voters say Biden should make coronavirus vaccine a priority: poll New York City subway service could be slashed 40 percent, officials warn MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a joint statement on Friday.