Maloney’s bill rescuing the U.S. Postal Service faces major hurdle from McConnell

Carolyn Maloney leads a hearing about coronavirus preparedness and response in Washington
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

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put Democrats in the House of Representatives on blast for passing a bill that would deliver $25 billion to the ailing U.S. Postal Service while leaving out support for everyday Americans.

The Delivering for America Act, introduced by Manhattan/Queens/Brooklyn Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, passed the House Saturday evening by a vote of 257 to 150. Up to 26 Republicans crossed party lines to vote in favor of the bill.

McConnell, who has refused to bring critical COVID-19 stimulus bills, such as the HEROES Act, that would deliver funds to unemployed Americans in similar fashion to the CARES Act, said bill was based on “conspiracy theories” about the urgent financial needs of USPS.

“Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi and House Democrats have spent weeks ignoring the urgent needs of American workers and families, but they rushed back to Washington the instant that overblown conspiracy theories about the United States Postal Service convinced them their own jobs might be in jeopardy,” McConnell said in a statement.

But alarming aspects of USPS’s decline could not be more real for Americans concerned about the future of this essential service, especially with the presidential election in the offing.

Recently appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy copped to ordering the removal of up 700 sorting machines nationwide, and said in a congressional oversight committee hearing on Friday that they had no immediate plans to reverse this action. Congresswoman Grace Meng commented afterward that she had little faith that DeJoy had any interest in providing adequate service for the American people.

“Yesterday, Postmaster General DeJoy testified before the Senate and did not commit to putting back the nearly 700 mail-sorting machines that have been removed under his watch. The assurances he provided to the Speaker that he would pause operational changes does nothing to fix the damage he has caused,” Meng said. “I have no confidence that Mr. DeJoy merely wants to make improvements to the postal service, especially during a national health crisis. While he did state at the hearing that his top priority is ensuring mail-in ballots are delivered, we must do more to ensure this. Postal Service operations must return to what they were at the beginning of the year.”

Maloney’s argument, as well as supporters of the bill, is that this bill supporting the operations of USPS will serve Americans who depend on the agency for prescription drug deliveries and undermines voter confidence in their ability to vote by mail. 

“Following heavy criticism, the Postmaster General issued a wholly insufficient and misleading pause in operational changes. But it is now clear after his testimony before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, that he has no intention of taking meaningful action to reverse the damage that the Postmaster General’s sweeping changes have inflicted,” Congressman Jerry Nadler said.

Nadler has been calling for the resignation of Postmaster General DeJoy claiming that mail ordering of prescription drugs has increased 20% during the pandemic, but orders are taking weeks for delivery.

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