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House panel calls Postal Service officials to emergency hearing on mail delays

FILE PHOTO: Chairwoman of the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) leads a hearing about coronavirus preparedness and response on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 12, 2020. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

BY JONATHAN LANDAY

Top Democrats in the U.S. Congress on Sunday called on top Postal Service officials including Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to testify on service changes that have stoked fears they are aimed at holding up mail-in Nov. 3 election ballots.

They called on DeJoy, a donor to Republican President Donald Trump, and U.S. Postal Service chairman Robert Duncan to testify in an Aug. 24 hearing.

“The President has explicitly stated his intention to manipulate the Postal Service to deny eligible voters access to the ballot in pursuit of his own re-election,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney said in a joint statement. “The Postmaster General and top Postal Service leadership must answer to the Congress and the American people as to why they are pushing these dangerous new policies that threaten to silence the voices of millions, just months before the election.”

Democrats have accused Trump of trying to hamstring the cash-strapped Postal Service to suppress mail-in voting. Trump himself on Thursday said he had held up talks with Congress over a fresh round of coronavirus stimulus funding to block Democrats from providing more funds for mail-in voting and election infrastructure.

Trump later walked back those comments, saying he would not veto a bill that included funds for the Postal Service, and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told CNN on Sunday said he would agree to $10 billion to $25 billion in fresh Postal funding. Democrats had sought $25 billion.

Pelosi may recall lawmakers from a summer recess to address changes at the Postal Service a Democratic congressional aide said on Saturday.

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