U.S. POSTAL SERVICE TO DELAY CHANGES: ‘WE WILL DELIVER THE NATION’S ELECTION MAIL ON TIME’
WASHINGTON — Facing mounting public pressure and a crush of state lawsuits, President Donald Trump’s new postmaster general announced Tuesday he is halting some operational changes to mail delivery that critics blamed for widespread delays and warned could disrupt the November election.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said he would “suspend” several of his initiatives — including the removal of the distinctive blue mailboxes that prompted an outcry — until after the election “to avoid even the appearance of impact on election mail.”
“We will deliver the nation’s election mail on time,” DeJoy said in a statement.
The abrupt reversal from DeJoy, who is set to testify Friday before the Senate, comes as more than 20 states, from New York to California, announced they would be suing to stop the changes. Several vowed they would press on, keeping a watchful eye on the Postal Service ahead of the election.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pushing ahead with Saturday’s vote to prevent election-year mail changes and provide emergency postal funds.
“I don’t, frankly, trust the postmaster general,” Pelosi said in San Francisco.
The crisis at the Postal Service has erupted as a major election year issue as DeJoy, a Republican donor who took control of the agency in June, has swiftly engineered cuts and operational changes that are disrupting mail delivery operations and raising alarms that Trump is trying to undermine the agency ahead of the election.
At the White House, Trump has flatly denied he is seeking to slow down the mail, even as he leveled fresh assaults Tuesday on mailin voting and universal ballots.
“You can’t have millions and millions of ballots sent all over the place, sent to people that are dead, sent to dogs, cats, sent everywhere,” Trump told reporters.
“This isn’t games and you have to get it right,” Trump said.
Democrats offer jabs in Chicago
In Chicago, Illinois’ Democratic congressional delegation on Tuesday accused Trump of sabotaging and playing “Al Capone” with the U.S. Postal Service.
“President Trump is attempting to gangster the Postal Service, to use it for his own political purposes and convince people, if he can, not to vote by mail,” Rep. Danny Davis said standing outside the Postal Service’s Chicago headquarters. “We disagree. We are not going to stand for it.”
Rep Mike Quigley recited the Postal Service’s motto about delivering through rain and snow.
“It doesn’t say: ‘Unless it hurts the president’s reelection,’” Quigley said.
North suburban U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., greets west suburban U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., with an elbow bump Tuesday before Democrats spoke about the importance of the U.S. Postal Service outside the USPS Chicago Headquarters at 433 W. Harrison St.