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Trump says he’s blocking Postal Service funding to prevent ‘universal mail-in voting’

The Washington Post reports:

President Trump said Thursday that he does not want to fund the U.S. Postal Service because Democrats are seeking to expand mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic, making explicit the reason he has declined to approve $25 billion in emergency funding for the cash-strapped agency.

“Now, they need that money in order to make the post office work, so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump said in an interview with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo. He added: “Now, if we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money. That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting, they just can’t have it.”

Trump has railed against mail-in balloting for months, and at a White House briefing Wednesday, he argued without evidence that USPS’s enlarged role in the November election would perpetuate “one of the greatest frauds in history.”

During the Wednesday briefing, Trump told reporters he would not approve the $25 billion in emergency funding for the Postal Service, or $3.5 billion in supplemental funding for election resources, citing prohibitively high costs. But he went further in remarks Thursday morning, blaming Democrats’ efforts to make it easier for Americans to vote amid the pandemic.

“There’s nothing wrong with getting out and voting. . . . They voted during World War I and World War II,” Trump told Bartiromo.

Postal Service backlog sparks worries that ballot delivery could be delayed in November

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pushed back Thursday in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“In the legislation we had $25 billion,” Pelosi said. “That is the number that is recommended by the Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service. . . . In earlier covid bills, the president has stood in the way of any money for the Postal Service.”

Pelosi noted that the among other things, the Postal Service delivers many prescriptions, which is particularly important in pandemic times.

“So they’re hurting seniors; it’s a health issue. . . . So, when the president goes after the Postal Service, he’s going after an all-American, highly approved-by-the-public institution,” she said. [Continue reading…]

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