Pascrell Votes to Save the Post Office from Trump Sabotage
Emergency House legislation counters continuing attacks; virtually entire GOP caucus turns back on USPS
Paterson, NJ, August 22, 2020
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) today voted in support of the Delivering for America Act (H.R. 8015), which passed the House of Representatives 257-150 during a special Saturday session to counter the continuing arson of the United States Postal Service (USPS) by Donald Trump and his hand-picked Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. The legislation approved today will allocate $25 billion to USPS, require USPS to treat election ballots and applications as first-class mail, and reverse Trump and DeJoy’s sabotage of mail delivery.
“What is happening now is one of the gravest crises of the tumultuous last four years,” said Rep. Pascrell, a longtime champion of the Post Office. “We are voting today to save the Post Office and save democracy. This is the third time the House has voted to protect and strengthen the Post Office this year. But for 99 days the McConnell Senate has been blocking $25 billion in emergency funding to keep USPS afloat, and for 199 days – over six months – the McConnell Senate has been blocking the USPS Fairness Act to strengthen the Post Office’s finances for years to come.
“And today, incredibly, just 26 House Republicans voted in favor of this legislation after Donald Trump went on live television and confessed to destroying USPS to rig the November election. That Republicans decry our actions today as a fake controversy show that their dereliction is bottomless. The Democratic Party supports the Post Office and democracy. In addition, there must be executive accountability. Donald Trump, Louis DeJoy, Steven Mnuchin, or anyone else in this regime involved in this sinister scheme need to be hauled before a criminal grand jury for election subversion.”
Since this crisis began, Rep. Pascrell has been aggressively demanding accountability. Rep. Pascrell was the first member of Congress calling for a criminal grand jury to be empaneled to address postal sabotage. On August 14, Pascrell made a criminal referral to New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, highlighting that the actions of Trump, DeJoy, and possibly other administration officials was subverting Garden State elections in violation of several state criminal statutes. “American democracy is today in question. What we do today can make a difference in our future. Please act decisively,” Pascrell wrote Grewal. On August 19, Grewal announced he was suing the USPS to stop the subversion.
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. On August 12, Pascrell again called on IG Whitcomb to probe postal turmoil. After soliciting responses from constituents, last week Rep. Pascrell released a slate of stories from North Jersey residents in the Ninth District describing the impact of Trump and Republicans’ vicious vandalism against USPS.
Pascrell has 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. That legislation passed the House by an overwhelming 309-to-106 and has been blocked by Republicans in the Senate for now 199 days. 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.