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

President TrumpDonald TrumpProsecutors focus Trump Organization probe on company's financial officer: report WHO official says it's 'premature' to think pandemic will be over by end of year Romney released from hospital after fall over the weekend 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 FeinsteinProgressive support builds for expanding lower courts Menendez reintroduces corporate diversity bill What exactly are uber-woke educators teaching our kids? MORE (D-Calif.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate Democrats negotiating changes to coronavirus bill On The Money: Senators push for changes as chamber nears vote on .9T relief bill | Warren offers bill to create wealth tax GOP says Ron Klain pulling Biden strings MORE (R-Maine), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperTexas snowstorm wreaks havoc on state power grid The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by TikTok - Dems rest their case; verdict on Trump this weekend No signs of demand for witnesses in Trump trial MORE (D-Del.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiMurkowski says no decision after Tanden meeting Green New Deal's 3 billion ton problem: sourcing technology metals The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump teases on 2024 run MORE (R-Alaska), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterSenate Democrats negotiating changes to coronavirus bill Senate mulls changes to .9 trillion coronavirus bill Democrats hesitant to raise taxes amid pandemic MORE (D-Mont.), Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesIndigenous groups post billboards urging senators to confirm Deb Haaland Kennedy apologizes for calling Haaland a 'whack job' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Ahead: One-shot vax, easing restrictions, fiscal help MORE (R-Mont.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Dan SullivanDaniel Scott SullivanThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Finger-pointing on Capitol riot; GOP balks at Biden relief plan Sanders votes against Biden USDA nominee Vilsack Senate confirms Vilsack as Agriculture secretary MORE (R-Alaska), Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsKhashoggi fiancée: Not punishing Saudi crown prince would be 'stain on our humanity' GOP says Ron Klain pulling Biden strings Pompeo: Release of Khashoggi report by Biden admin 'reckless' MORE (D-Del.) and Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsPat Roberts joins lobbying firm weeks after Senate retirement Senate swears-in six new lawmakers as 117th Congress convenes Window quickly closing for big coronavirus deal 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 PelosiRepublican Ohio Senate candidate calls on GOP rep to resign over impeachment vote Clinton, Pelosi holding online Women's Day fundraiser with Chrissy Teigen, Amanda Gorman What good are the intelligence committees? MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerFirst Black secretary of Senate sworn in Republican Ohio Senate candidate calls on GOP rep to resign over impeachment vote The bizarre back story of the filibuster MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a joint statement on Friday.