House Republicans allege Democrats are fabricating USPS crisis
House Republicans are blasting Democrats’ calls for Congress to pass billions in additional funding for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), accusing them of pushing a “baseless conspiracy theory” about cost-cutting measures hindering mail-in ballot delivery.
“Democrats have no shame. They are pushing conspiracy theories about the USPS to undermine faith in the election and distract from their own failures,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) tweeted.
“Whether Americans choose to vote in-person or vote absentee, I have full confidence in the integrity of our electoral process.”
Democrats have no shame. They are pushing conspiracy theories about the USPS to undermine faith in the election and distract from their own failures.
Whether Americans choose to vote in-person or vote absentee, I have full confidence in the integrity of our electoral process.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) August 17, 2020
Democratic leadership announced on Monday the House is being called back into session on Saturday to vote on legislation — which has not yet been finalized — aimed at preventing the USPS from altering operations it had in place as of January while the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing.
USPS recently warned election officials in 46 states and the District of Columbia that it could not guarantee that all mail-in ballots would arrive in time to be counted.
Democrats have repeatedly slammed President Trump’s criticisms that mail-in voting could lead to an increase in election fraud and have accused the administration of trying to undermine the postal service as part of a plan to suppress votes.
But GOP lawmakers allege the push for more funding is an attempted “money grab” by Democrats as part of their effort to smear the president ahead of Election Day.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) argued that it’s a “fabricated crisis” by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), adding that USPS revenues have been up since the start of the pandemic.
“She’s been trying to get about $75 billion, and keep in mind, their total budget is about that amount for the entire year. So, you know, she’s been trying to make a money grab for a long time, well before COVID,” he said during an appearance on Fox Business.
“She’s just once again trying to take advantage of a crisis. The Post Office is delivering the mail. If every American voted by mail it would represent maybe a 2 percent increase over what they did just in June of this year, so this isn’t about whether or not the Post Office can deliver the mail. That’s going to be taken care of regardless,” Scalise said.
The Republicans’ pushback to Democrats questioning whether the integrity of the election could be compromised due to the changes at the postal service comes one week before Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is slated to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on the cost-cutting measures.
Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), the top Republican on the Oversight Committee, said Democrats’ comments undermine voters’ trust in the election system.
“The Democrats’ wild and baseless conspiracy theory about the United States Postal Service is irresponsible and only undermines the American people’s faith in the integrity of the election and our institutions,” he said in a statement.
“The Committee on Oversight and Reform has a tremendous opportunity to put this conspiracy theory to bed and I hope my Democratic colleagues will join me in reviewing the facts and identifying areas of reform so that USPS works best for the American people,” he said.
Comer also asserted that proper protocols will be put in place to allow people to vote safely in person.
Republicans’ comments echo those of Trump, who dismissed allegations he was attempting to suppress votes with the recent changes. Trump said cost-cutting measures are a necessary reform and the administration is working “to make it good” during an appearance on “Fox & Friends” on Monday morning.