Democratic leaders announced Sunday they are scheduling an emergency hearing so that Postal Service officials can testify in front of Congress about its ability to handle mail-in votes, NBC News reports.
"The president has explicitly stated his intention to manipulate the Postal Service to deny eligible voters access to the ballot in pursuit of his own re-election," a statement signed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and other Democratic leaders read. The letter goes on to allege that the USPS is aiding Trump's ambitions.
"Alarmingly, the Postmaster General — a Trump mega-donor — has acted as an accomplice in the president's campaign to cheat in the election, as he launches sweeping new operational changes that degrade delivery standards and delay the mail," the statement continues. "The Postal Service itself has warned that voters — even if they send in their ballots by state deadlines — may be disenfranchised in 46 states and in Washington, D.C., by continued delays. This constitutes a grave threat to the integrity of the election and to our very democracy."
The Democrats have called Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and Postal Service Board of Governors Chairman Michael Duncan to testify before the House Oversight Committee. Both DeJoy and Duncan have political ties to Trump before their positions with the USPS. Prior to taking over the Postal Service in June, DeJoy was a major Trump donor and Republican fundraiser. As for Duncan, he was the former chairman of the Republican National Committee.
During the hearing, the Democrats will review the "sweeping operational and organizational changes at the Postal Service that experts warn could degrade delivery standards, slow the mail and potentially impair the rights of eligible Americans to cast their votes through the mail in the upcoming November elections."
DeJoy has recently implemented changes — like removing letter sorting machines — that will drastically slow USPS service and have contributed to the service being in financial despair for years. This was coupled with several states receiving a notice from the Postal Service claiming that their "vote-by-mail deadlines were too tight to ensure proper delivery."
This news comes after many states have decided to move to mail-in-ballots due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many people believe that the Postal Service changes are a new form of voter suppression.
"My opinion, the position that I've taken, is that the appointment that was made (of DeJoy) and the actions that have followed are a direct internal attack on what we do and it makes me sick and it makes me angry," Michael Mize, president of the Michigan Postal Workers Union, said.
The Democrats also proposed allotting $3.6 billion to vote-by-mail funding, but it was blocked by Republican lawmakers.
"Now, they need that money in order to have the post office work, so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots," Trump told Fox Business. "But if they don’t get those two items, that means you can't have universal mail-in voting, because they’re not equipped to have it."
Despite this tension, there is no evidence that Trump is manipulating the mail-in voting system. Nor is there evidence that mail-in voting will lead to voting fraud as Trump's administration has suggested in the past.