Pascrell Blisters Quid Pro Quo Treasury Loan to Beleaguered USPS
Trump and his loyalists continue their assault on postal independence, effectiveness
Washington, D.C., July 29, 2020
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) today reacted to reports that the U.S. Treasury Department has finally agreed to loan the United States Postal Service (USPS) $10 billion to help the public service weather the COVID-19 pandemic amid Donald Trump’s efforts to destroy the post office.
“The U.S. Postal Service stands at the brink of collapse,” said Rep. Pascrell, one of the post office’s strongest advocates in Congress. “The Trump administration has cynically taken advantage of this to sabotage postal operations just when the American people are relying on USPS most for lifesaving medications, protective equipment, and to cast their ballots. In May, I called on the USPS IG to open an investigation into whether the administration had sought political concessions in exchange for providing a desperately needed $10 billion line of credit to the postal service. It is clear now that is exactly the case.
“Today’s decision by the Treasury Department to extend this financial assistance only in exchange for fulfilling Trump’s political errands is an afront to the independence of the postal service. I have long called for Congress to ensure greater transparency from USPS, but it is hard to view today’s capitulation as anything other than a nefarious quid pro quo to satisfy Trump’s long-held personal vendetta against Amazon. Congress must stand up to Trump’s continued vandalism of one of America’s most beloved institutions by including direct aid in the final Heroes Act and investigating continued efforts to undermine the independence and solvency of the U.S. Postal Service.”
Pascrell has also been a leader in Congress demanding reform to return the USPS to its former glory and strengthen it so it remains an integral part of American life, goals he outlined in a well-received April 2019 essay in Washington Monthly. Pascrell is a cosponsor of H.R. 2382, the USPS Fairness Act that would finally remove the health care prefunding anchor that has been strangling USPS since 2007. Pascrell is also a strong supporter of widespread postal banking, and in June 2019 his bipartisan amendment allocating $1 million to begin funding a postal banking system was passed by the House of Representatives. On May 21, Pascrell wrote to USPS Inspector General Tammy Whitcomb demanding an investigation of turmoil at the USPS, purportedly stemming from a pattern of interference engineered by the Trump administration in its efforts to destabilize the post office.