US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be recalling the House from its summer recess to vote on a bill to protect the US Postal Service, amid claims that President Donald Trump is seeking to weaken it deliberately to sabotage the upcoming presidential election.
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, a record number of Americans are set to vote by mail in November’s election, which will see Trump, the Republican Party’s candidate, challenged by the Democratic Party’s Joe Biden.
Trump has repeatedly challenged the legitimacy of voting by mail – even though he and his family have themselves availed themselves of the option – and has sought to deny the provision of funding to the cash-strapped USPS. In a rare move, former president Barack Obama has directly criticised Trump for seeking to undermine the upcoming election.
The US President even explicitly admitted that he was denying the USPS funding in a bid to hinder voting by mail. Polls suggest that Republicans are more likely to vote in person, while Democrats are more likely to use postal ballots.
“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,” he told Fox News.
Trump’s appointment of a top Republican donor Louis DeJoy as postmaster general has also been harshly criticised, with Pelosi accusing him of seeking to “degrade the postal service, delay the mail, and – according to the Postal Service itself – threaten to deny the ability of eligible Americans to cast their votes through the mail in the upcoming elections in a timely fashion.”
Pelosi is thus recalling the House to vote on the Delivering for America Act proposed by fellow Democratic US Rep Carolyn Maloney.