White House threatens veto of Democratic bill on Postal Service

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Friday it strongly opposes a bill backed by congressional Democrats addressing U.S. Postal Service policies ahead of the Nov. 3 election and would recommend President Donald Trump veto it.

The White House Office of Management and Budget said in a statement that the House of Representatives bill “would arbitrarily give USPS $25 billion in ‘emergency’ taxpayer funding, without linking that funding to either the COVID-19 pandemic or the upcoming election.”

The bill was an “overreaction to sensationalized media reports that have made evidence-free accusations that USPS has undertaken reforms to achieve political rather than operational objectives,” the White House said.

The legislation is expected to come up for a vote in the Democratic-led House on Saturday.

The chamber is widely expected to pass the bill, dubbed the “Delivering for America Act,” in the rare Saturday session called by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi amid the congressional August recess. But it is unlikely to be taken up in the Republican-controlled Senate.

With mail-in voting expected to surge during the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump has alarmed Democrats by repeatedly denouncing mail-in ballots as a possible source of fraud. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy recently suspended cost-cutting measures that have slowed deliveries in recent weeks.

“These changes are causing huge delays, reported all across the country, threatening the effectiveness of the Postal Service and undermining our democracy,” said Democratic Representative Carolyn Maloney, the bill’s author.

DeJoy told a Senate committee on Friday the Postal Service would deliver ballots “securely and on time” in the November election but said bigger changes could come after that.

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