With heated debate over mail delays, the House approved legislation in a rare Saturday session that would reverse recent changes in US Postal Service operations and send $25 billion to shore up the agency ahead of the November election. Speaker Nancy Pelosi recalled lawmakers to Washington over objections from Republicans dismissing the action as a stunt, reports the AP. President Trump urged a no vote, including in a Saturday tweet, railing against mail-in ballots expected to surge in the COVID-19 crisis. "Don’t pay any attention to what the president is saying, because it is all designed to suppress the vote," Pelosi said. She called the Postal Service the nation’s “beautiful thread” connecting Americans and said voters should “ignore” the president’s threats. Millions are expected to opt for mail-in ballots to avoid polling places during the pandemic. Ahead of voting the president tweeted, “This is all another HOAX.”
More than two dozen Republicans broke with the president and backed the bill, which passed 257-150. Democrats led approval, but the legislation is certain to stall in the GOP-held Senate. The White House said the president would veto it. Facing a backlash over operational changes, new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testified Friday that his “No. 1 priority” is to ensure election mail arrives on time, but that he would not restore cuts already made. He could not provide senators with a plan for handling the ballot crush for the election. “The American people ... just want their mail," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, chair of the Oversight Committee and author of the bill, which would reverse the cuts by prohibiting any changes made after January, and provide funds to the agency. But Republicans counter that complaints about disruptions are overblown, and no emergency funding is needed. “It’s a silly, silly bill,” said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla.
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