Schumer: McConnell Must Bring Senate Back Early If USPS Bill Is Passed

August 16, 2020 Updated: August 16, 2020

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) should bring the Senate back from recess early if the House passes a bill to fund the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

“In addition to hearings, I will push for new legislation that will undo the changes that have slowed down the mail and ensure all mail-in ballots for the upcoming election are treated as First Class priority. Accordingly, if the House acts on legislation, Leader McConnell must bring the Senate back into session so we can quickly pass their legislation to reverse these harmful changes,” Schumer said in a statement on Sunday.

The Senate left last week without a deal on broader COVID-19 relief and won’t return until September. McConnell said he would alert senators about a deal made between Democrats and the White House.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other top Democrats in the House, meanwhile, called on Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and USPS Chairman Robert Ducan to testify in front of the House Oversight panel next week. They alleged that the officials are manipulating the Postal Service to deny people the ability to vote to benefit President Donald Trump.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hosts a signing ceremony after the House of Representatives approved a $2.2 trillion coronavirus aid package at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on March 27, 2020. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

“I am demanding [Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.)] convene a hearing in his committee with the Postmaster General and the Chairman of the Postal Service Board of Governors as soon as possible for them to answer serious questions and be held accountable for the damage they have caused at one of America’s most important and sacred public institutions. And if the Postmaster General refuses to come before Congress, he should be swiftly removed by the Board of Governors,” Schumer also said.

Trump, however, said last week that he would be willing to fund the USPS if Democrats made concessions on the COVID-19 deal. Trump has long complained that the Postal Service is hemorrhaging money and isn’t able to turn over a profit, while adding that vote-by-mail efforts pushed largely by Democrats would lead to election fraud in November.

“Sure, if they give us what we want,” the president said on Friday at a news conference. “And it’s not what I want, it’s what the American people want.”

A day before, regarding the voter fraud claims, Trump said, “They want $3.5 billion for something that’s fraudulent … for the mail-in votes, universal mail-in ballots,” according to Fox News. “They want $25 billion for the post office. They need that money so it can work and they can take these millions and millions of ballots.”