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Houlahan calls for Postmaster General to resign

Originally published in the Pottstown Mercury.

Written by Fran Maye.

WEST CHESTER — U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa., and other Democratic lawmakers are calling for U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to resign, and have announced a series of actions in response to the Trump Administration's efforts to cut U.S. Postal Service operations.

On Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she plans to summon the House back in session this week to confront the attempts to undermine the U.S. postal system.

“The postmaster general is injecting a dangerous breed of partisanship into the United States Postal Service, an essential service afforded to all Americans as mandated by the Constitution,” said Houlahan. “Americans depend on the USPS to pay their bills and to receive their prescription medications. Credit scores and people's health are at literal risk. “In the midst of a global pandemic, many Americans, particularly seniors and those with underlying conditions, won't be afforded the opportunity to vote safely from home."

The U.S. Postal Service is warning states it cannot guarantee that all election ballots cast by mail for the Nov. 3 election will arrive in time to be counted, even if ballots are mailed by state deadlines. It raises the possibility that millions of voters could be disenfranchised.

The House will come back this week to vote on the Delivering for America Act, a bill that prohibits any cuts or changes to USPS services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Houlahan said that with many businesses operating remotely and many people continuing to stay home except for necessities, the USPS is essential for commercial activity, and access to medications.

Houlahan and many of her colleagues are calling for Congress to fully fund the postal system.

"It is incumbent upon the Senate and Administration to recognize the severity of what our USPS is up against and to follow our lead and fund an essential service," Houlahan said. “As someone who's served this country in the Air Force and now in Congress, I say with emphasis and without hesitation that these attacks on our USPS are a very real threat to our nation and our citizenry.”

Several states say they are considering legal action against the Trump administration and the United States Postal Service to stop them from using new operational changes that could slow mail service leading up to the presidential election, which will rely heavily on mail-in voting.

Two months ago, the House voted to appropriate $25 billion to save the United States Postal Service and end the Treasury Department's blockade of the $10 billion loan previously authorized for USPS in the CARES Act. She said the Administration "is blatantly, and with impunity, cutting off oxygen to the US Postal Service and the consequence, particularly during this global pandemic, is voter disenfranchisement.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending mail ballots as a way to vote without risking exposure to the virus at the polls. However, Trump claims without evidence that mail ballots are fraudulent. Democrats have been more likely than Republicans to vote by mail in primary contests held so far this year.