U.S. POSTAL SER­VICE TO DE­LAY CHANGES: ‘WE WILL DE­LIVER THE NA­TION’S ELEC­TION MAIL ON TIME’

Chicago Sun-Times - - FRONT PAGE - BY LISA MAS­CARO AND AN­THONY IZA­GUIRRE Con­tribut­ing: Ste­fano Es­pos­ito

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.

ASH­LEE REZIN GAR­CIA/SUN-TIMES

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.

Louis DeJoy

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