A US Postal Service (USPS) panel put forward a proposal that would increase states’ postage costs for post-in votes from 20 cents to 55 cents per vote, according to a report by The Capitol Forum.
States pay 20 percent of the marketing rate when sending post-in ballots to voters, but the new proposal prepared by the executive would reportedly require them to pay the first-class first rate of 55 cents.
Voters are already paying the first-rate interest rate to return their votes, even though 17 states cover the voter’s costs.
Sources familiar with the proposal told the Capitol Forum that there was “no clear justification” for the policy other than to put in additional revenue for the cash-strapped agency, and states pressured that the lower rates would be in place during discussions on the proposal.
Democrats approved a coronavirus settlement in May that would provide $ 25 billion to help the USPS. The counter-proposal from the Senate Republicans offered no money for the agency. The Democratic proposal also included $ 1
If the proposal goes ahead, it will still have a notice and comment period at the Postregulatory Commission, as well as any legal challenges. It is unclear whether the USPS could adopt the proposal before the 2020 election, according to the report.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Called the proposal an attempt to “sabotage” the USPS ahead of the election. It comes amid growing concerns that the cost savings of the new postmaster general Louis DeJoy, a top donor to President Donald Trump and the Republican Party, could affect the expected increase in postal voting in November.
“There are currently no pending changes in email rates and classes affecting the vote,” the USPS said in a statement to Salon. “Furthermore, the baseless claim is that we intend to raise prices before the upcoming presidential election to limit the vote by post completely without merit and easily. The postmaster and the organization he leads are fully committed to fulfilling our role in If public decision-makers choose to use the post. as part of its electoral system, we will do everything we can to deliver electoral mail on time in accordance with our operational standards. “
Democratic leaders said last week that DeJoy “confirmed … contrary to previous denials” that the USPS had recently instituted “operational changes” that slowed mail delivery, potentially affecting “fast delivery” of paychecks, medicine and post-in votes.
“Elections are sacred,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., said after meeting with DeJoy last week. “To make cuts when votes – all votes – have to be counted. We can not say, ‘Oh, we get 94% of them.’ That’s not enough. “
Then Joe Manchin, DW.Va., also wrote to DeJoy with questions about the media coverage of planned cuts for post offices ahead of the November election, which has been strengthened by reports from the postal workers’ union.
Then Gary Peters, D-Mich., The top Democrat on the Home Security and Government Affairs Committee, which oversees the USPS, launched an investigation last week to “get to the bottom of any changes the new postmaster general could undermine the postal service’s tradition of efficient service.”
Shortly after Peters’ investigation began, a memo released on Friday revealed that DeJoy had replaced the two senior executives overseeing the day-to-day operations of the USPS, The Washington Post first reported. A new organizational chart from the agency shows that 23 executives were “transferred or expelled.”
A source with “deep knowledge” from the leadership team told The Post that the changes have “led to a lot of head scratching”, for “we are not sure he put the right player in the right place.”
Rope. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., Called the changes a “Trojan horse” and a “deliberate sabotage” of the postal system.
Connolly was one of nine Democrats who called on Inspector General of the Postal Service Tammy Whitcomb to investigate DeJoy’s policies on Friday.
“Given the ongoing concerns about the negative effects of the Trump Administration’s policy on the quality and efficiency of the postal service, we ask you to review all operational changes that have been implemented by Mr. DeJoy and other Trump Administration officials in 2020,” said the letter, whose lead signatories included Warren and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, DN.Y., Chair of the House Monitoring Committee.
The letter also asked the inspector general to examine the finances of DeJoy and Mrs. Aldona Wos, Trump’s nominees for the next ambassador to Canada, as the couple owns between $ 30 million and $ 75 million in assets in competitors of the USPS and its contractors.
DeJoy, who agreed to disclose any conflicts of interest after taking over the agency, said in a statement that he has “done what is necessary to ensure that I am and will remain in compliance with these obligations.”
“We would welcome the Inspector General’s to examine the steps we are taking to streamline the postal service,” USPS spokesman David Partenheimer told The Post. “She will find that much of what we do is designed to address the recommendations that her office has made in recent years.”
But an inquiry would not be enough for some Democrats, who have called on DeJoy to resign.
“DeJoy’s unfounded operational changes have already crushed a beloved and essential agency, delayed emails, critical prescription drug shipments for veterans and the elderly and other essential goods,” says Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., In a statement. “… DeJoy’s disappointed collective efforts will suppress millions of votes and threaten the voting rights of millions of Americans, which means we are violating our constitution. It is imperative that we remove him from his post and replace him immediately.”
Rep. Alma Adams, DN.C., joined DeFazio in demanding that DeJoy be removed.
“DeJoy continues his unconstitutional sabotage of our postal service by completely ignoring the institution’s promise of ‘safe and fast transit of mail’ and ‘fast delivery of its contents,'” she said. “My friend Maya Angelou used to say, ‘When someone shows you who they are, believe them for the first time. ‘ The Secretary-General has shown us on several occasions that he is working to dismantle a fundamental institution of our democracy. He must resign or be removed, now. “