US House agrees postal service election cash boost

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US Postal Service worker pushes a mail bin outside a post office in Royal Oak, Michigan (22 August 2020)

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Reuters

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The US Postal Service delivered 142.6 billion pieces of mail in 2019

The US House of Representatives has passed a bill that would inject $25bn (£19bn) into the Postal Service (USPS) ahead of November’s election.

The legislation would also block cuts and changes that critics have said will hamper mail-in voting.

Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi recalled lawmakers from the summer recess to vote on the bill, which she said would protect the USPS.

After the vote, President Trump tweeted the measure was a Democrat ballot scam.

“Representatives of the Post Office have repeatedly stated that they DO NOT NEED MONEY, and will not make changes, ” said Donald Trump. He has threatened to veto the bill, which is in any case unlikely to make progress in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said the chamber would “absolutely not pass” the bill.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said earlier that further cost-cutting measures at the postal service would be suspended until after November’s vote.

A slowdown in mail deliveries amid cost-saving measures at USPS has fuelled fears about how one of the oldest and most trusted institutions in the US can handle an unprecedented influx of mail-in ballots due to the coronavirus pandemic.

President Trump strongly opposes mail-in ballots and has repeatedly suggested it could lead to widespread voter fraud despite there being no evidence for this.

The “Delivering for America Act” passed by the House in a rare Saturday sitting includes $25bn of emergency coronavirus funding requested by the USPS’s board of governors.

More than a dozen Republicans crossed the floor to vote with their Democratic opponents.

The bill would require the USPS to treat all official electio

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