The House bill to give the US Postal Service $25 billion ahead of the November presidential election is just a “political statement,” White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Sunday.
The bill passed by the Democrat-controlled chamber Saturday “has nothing to do with voting,” Meadows said on “Fox News Sunday” and “has everything to do with a political statement.”
“I offered $10 billion plus reforms for the Postal Service that they’ve been asking for for a long time to Speaker Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, and when we offered that there was another thing that came along with that, the postmaster general said he was willing to pay whatever overtime is needed to make sure we deliver the mail on time,” Meadows said, referring to Democrats House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
The legislation, approved in a Saturday session with the support of 26 Republicans, provided the additional funds for the USPS and ordered Postmaster General Louis DeJoy not to make any changes that would hinder mail delivery before the election.
Meadows said President Trump would be willing to sign a bill that includes help for the USPS in an broad coronavirus stimulus package that Meadows has been negotiating with Pelosi and Schumer.
“My challenge to the speaker [Pelosi] this morning would be this – if we agree on five, six things — let’s go ahead and pass those,” Meadows said on ABC News’ “This Week.” “I spoke to the president early this morning. He’s willing to sign that, including Postal Service reform, making sure that the money is there to make sure that deliveries of first class mail are handled quickly, efficiently, on time.”
Talks on a new coronavirus stimulus bill stalled earlier this month. Democrats wanted $3 trillion while Republicans said they didn’t want to go above a $1 trillion price tag.
But Pelosi blamed Trump for delaying negotiations.
“More than 4 million have been added to the infection list because we paused,” Pelosi said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Over 80,000 more people have died, because they paused.”
“Could we have saved all of those lives? Not all, but many,” Pelosi said.
She then paraphrased a speech Sen. Bernie Sanders made at the Democratic National Convention last week: “Trump fiddles while Rome burns, while America burns.”
DeJoy, a GOP donor and Trump ally, told a Senate committee on Friday that his “No. 1 priority” is getting election ballots delivered on time.
Schumer claimed that DeJoy, who is expected to testify before a House panel on Monday, has no credibility and said he wants the chairman of the USPS Board of Governors new Election Mail Committee to report in two weeks on how election mail will be handled in a timely fashion.
“In the past several days, Postmaster DeJoy has had to walk back some of his efforts to undermine and dismantle the post office ahead of the November election, but today we are here to say: actions speak louder than words and that those actions will come from sharp oversight,” Schumer said at a news conference on Sunday.
“There will be no rubber stamp on the postmaster’s talking points, because, quite frankly, he has lost credibility in Congress and with the American people.”
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