House GOP Lawmakers Urge Democrats to Stop Spreading ‘Conspiracy Theories’ About USPS

August 20, 2020 Updated: August 20, 2020

Republican leaders are demanding that top Democrats stop promoting what they called “conspiracy theories” about the ability of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to deliver election mail for the 2020 election, which they say has caused leaders of USPS to be harassed at their homes.

House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.), along with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Chairwoman of the Oversight and Reform Committee Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday urging them to “immediately stop promoting irresponsible and baseless conspiracy theories” about the USPS.

“Personal information of USPS leadership was recently posted online by malicious actors, allowing protestors to approach and harass them at their homes,” the GOP members wrote.

“This behavior is directly motivated by the fabricated attacks on the USPS that you have spearheaded and is now unnecessarily endangering the safety of hard-working public servants,” they continued.

In their letter, McCarthy, Scalise, and Comer refuted the “unfounded theories” that they said are being hyped by the Democrats, including that “USPS does not have adequate funding and will be insolvent before the November election, that USPS is removing mailboxes to prevent citizens from voting by mail, and that the USPS lacks the infrastructure to deliver mail-in ballots to and from voters.”

The Postmaster General Louis DeJoy came under fire from Democrats for implementing changes to USPS operations amid election concerns.

“As you know, none of these claims have any basis in fact,” they wrote. “Once again, Democrats have manufactured a crisis to undermine President Trump at the expense of America’s institutions.”

In their letter to Democrats, the Republicans referred to the changes the USPS administration began making recently in an attempt to save money, including getting rid of overtime pay and removing machines from locations that they said were being underutilized.

The Postal Service issued a statement from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, which said he would halt any additional changes to the operation of the USPS but did not address whether changes already in place would be reversed.

“In the meantime, there are some longstanding operational initiatives—efforts that predate my arrival at the Postal Service—that have been raised as areas of concern as the nation prepares to hold an election in the midst of a devastating pandemic. To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded,” DeJoy said in a statement Aug. 18.

Speaker Pelosi said she was not satisfied with DeJoy’s decision to stop changes to USPS unless he also reverses the changes that were already made.

“The Postmaster General frankly admitted that he had no intention of replacing the sorting machines, blue mailboxes, and other key mail infrastructure that have been removed and that plans for adequate overtime, which is critical for the timely delivery of mail, are not in the works,” Pelosi said in a statement on Aug. 19.

McCarthy, Scalise, and Comer went on to criticize Democrats for “irresponsibly” claiming that USPS is being underfunded through the election period and removing sorting machines to suppress voting.

“Unfortunately, Democrats continue to malign sensible plans commenced in 2011 and designed to streamline the USPS’ operations, such as removing mail stop and equipment. Ironically, the same policies were carried out during the Obama administration as the administration removed 12,000 mailboxes and shuttered more than 80 mail facilities,” the three lawmakers wrote.

In a separate statement, McCarthy said on Wednesday, “The USPS is financially solvent through at least August 2021. The Postal Service currently has $14 billion cash on hand and, under the CARES Act passed earlier this year, has the option of receiving an additional $10 billion loan from the Treasury Department.”

Pelosi said the funding for USPS is inadequate to handle the pandemic related mail-in ballots.

“I think it’s important to note that in the CARES Act, we did have the $25 billion.  Then we reduced it to the $20 [billion].  Then we cooperated with Republicans and had a smaller amount.  But the Oval Office, the President of the United States says, ‘I’m not letting one penny be in the bill for the Postal Service,'” said Pelosi.

The Republicans urged Democrats to stop their “misinformation campaigns” that are putting USPS employees’ safety in jeopardy and undermining election integrity and voter confidence.

“Irresponsible tactics used by Democrats that vilify the efforts of senior USPS leadership have regrettably led to malicious actors publishing the personal information of the entire Postal Board and the Postmaster-General over the weekend,” they wrote.

“It also hampers the USPS leadership’s ability to conduct business at a time when general election ballots are scheduled to be mailed in a matter of weeks,” they added.

Speaker Pelosi’s office did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment.

The letter to Pelosi and Maloney comes amid a battle between Republicans and Democrats over the use of mail-in ballots for the 2020 presidential election. While President Donald Trump and the GOP have long said universal mail-in voting would lead to widespread voter fraud, Democrats say the Trump administration is trying to suppress mail-in votes by implementing operational changes to the USPS before the elections and underfunding the institution.