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house Bill H.R. 8015

Providing the U.S. Postal Service With $25B & Prohibiting Operational Changes Ahead of the Election

Argument in favor

In light of the ongoing pandemic and projections that a record-breaking number of Americans will cast their ballot by mail in the upcoming election, now is not the time to implement changes at the U.S. Postal Service that could slow the processing of election mail. This bill stops and reverses all such changes, and provides the USPS with an additional $25 billion in funding to operate.

Ronda 's Opinion
···
08/21/2020
Put the sorting machines back. Put the mailboxes back. Put the postal service workers schedules back. Let them do their jobs. DeJoy needs to be fired and prosecuted for interfering with the mail.
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jimK's Opinion
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08/22/2020
UPDATED: The Postal Service Board of Governors unanimously formally requested this funding as did DeJoy himself in his Senate Testimony. All of these people were appointed by the trump- ALL of them. The Democrats are trying to honor the formal USPS request to ensure mail-in voting will not be corrupted by changes deemed necessary to meet the outrageous Republican law that mandates 75 years of benefits be prepaid for their employees- which is the main reason why the USPS is now running a deficit. Trumpublican nimrods! FACTS! Not the trump’s alternate fact fantasies which change daily. … … … DeJoy claimed that his drastic changes to the mail service was due to the fact that they were running a large deficit. Earlier, he claimed the mail backup was an unintended consequence of his changes. Mitch McConnell has stated that he prefers to fund the postal service after the election possibly to avoid voter backlash in his state, while trump’s crony DeJoy claims he has to make these cuts now. Further, DeJoy says that the removed mail sorting machines which were fully functional and quite expensive were needed more at other postal sites; There is no evidence that any have been relocated or are being put back in service. Several witnesses followed the trucks carrying these millions of dollar machines to recycling dumps. How, pray tell, does removing and moth-balling or trashing fully calibrated and functional mail sorting machines representing hundreds of millions of dollars of capital investment, each doing the work of thirty mail sorters save any money? This just does not add up. The House should get a summary of where the removed mail sorting machines went. Are they being stored away to be given up later to a privatized mail service as the Republicans have long envisioned - as yet another self-serving investment opportunity? Fund the mail service now, let the trumpublicans fall on their swords when the mail service cannot keep up with the mail-in ballots- and put DeJoy away for millions of counts of willfully interfering with mail delivery. DeJoy pledged that mail-in ballots would not be impacted by his changes. That is what was saying about his initial cost recovery efforts which has caused great backlogs at numerous central postal sites; Oh yeah, unintended consequences. DeJoy apologizes but the damage has already been done. Just like he will apologize when mail-in ballots get delayed to prove that the trump was right. Yeah, sure! Mail your ballots in as early as you can, I do not trust any of the trump’s cronies to ever do what is right and proper unless they can find some self-serving angle to do so. … … … As an aside, we applied early for mail in ballots, justified in this state by our age. I called the election board to assure that we were on the mailing list and was told that our ballots will be sent in the first batch of mailings. Should be mailed September 18th and will have them mailed back by at least September 22nd giving us ample time to assure that the election board has received them.
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aplaw's Opinion
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08/21/2020
USPS is CRUCIAL to everyday life, thousands of jobs, and extremely substantial to upcoming elections.
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Argument opposed

The USPS believes it has enough cash to operate normally through August 2021 and has a $10 billion line of credit it hasn’t utilized yet, so the $25 billion provided by this bill is unnecessary. USPS can also make necessary changes to its operations while maintaining capacity to process all election mail in a timely manner, given that it will represent less than 2% of all mail between now and the election.

Daniel 's Opinion
···
08/21/2020
Another excuse to change the way we vote. We should not change the way we vote.
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Jasen's Opinion
···
08/22/2020
The USPS believes it has enough cash to operate normally through August 2021 and has a $10 billion line of credit it hasn’t utilized yet, so the $25 billion provided by this bill is unnecessary. USPS can also make necessary changes to its operations while maintaining capacity to process all election mail in a timely manner, given that it will represent less than 2% of all mail between now and the election.
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Ralph's Opinion
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08/22/2020
This yet another wasteful spending plan that I am sure has a lot of stuff that shouldn’t even be in it
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What is House Bill H.R. 8015?

This bill — the Delivering for America Act — would restrict the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) from implementing or approving any change to the operations or level of service provided by USPS from those in effect on January 1, 2020, that would reduce service performance or impede prompt, reliable, and efficient services. USPS would be required to reverse any policies that cause delay in processing, delivery or non-delivery of mail. Additionally, this bill would provide USPS with $25 billion in funding and require it to postmark election-related mail and process it the same day it is received.

Specifically, this bill would prohibit the following actions:

  • Any change in the nature of postal services which will generally affect service on a nationwide or substantially nationwide basis.

  • Any revision of service standards.

  • Any closure or consideration of any post office or postal facility, or any reduction of such office or facility hours.

  • Any prohibition on the use of overtime or overtime pay to USPS officers or employees.

  • Any change that would prevent USPS from meeting its service standards or cause a decline in measurements of performance relative to those service standards.

  • Any change that would have the effect of delaying, deferring, or curtailing mail, allowing for the non-delivery of mail to a delivery route, or increasing the volume of undelivered mail.

  • Treating election mail as any class of mail other than first-class mail, regardless of whether such treatment requires payment of overtime pay to officers or employees of the USPS.

  • Removing, decommissioning, or any other stoppage of mail sorting machines, other than for routine maintenance.

  • Removing or eliminating any mail collection box that is available to the public.

  • Enacting any rule, policy, or standard the purpose or effect of which would delay the delivery of mail to or from a government entity.

  • Instituting any hiring freeze.

Additionally, this bill would require the USPS to postmark all election mail to indicate the date of receipt. The USPS would also be required to ensure to the maximum extent practical that election mail is processed and cleared from any postal facility or post office on the same day it is received at such a facility or post office.

This bill would appropriate $25 billion in FY2020 funding for the Postal Service Fund that would remain available until expended, of which $15 million would go to salaries and expenses in the Office of Inspector General.

Impact

The United States Postal Service (USPS).

Cost of House Bill H.R. 8015

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthHouse Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) offered the following statement on the introduction of her bill to provide $25 billion in funding for the USPS and to prevent it from undertaking operational changes:

“Our Postal Service should not become an instrument of partisan politics, but instead must be protected as a neutral, independent entity that focuses on one thing and one thing only — delivering the mail. Millions of people rely on the Postal Service every day to communicate, to access critical medications, and to vote. At this juncture in our nation’s history, when the number of Americans voting by mail for this Presidential election is expected to more than double from the last, Congress must protect the right of all eligible citizens to have their vote counted. A once-in-a-century pandemic is no time to enact changes that threaten service reliability and transparency. The Delivering for America Act would reverse these changes so this fundamental American service can continue unimpeded.”

USPS has been in a financially unsustainable position for years due to unfunded liabilities that totalled $161 billion in 2019, including $119 billion in pension benefits and retiree health benefits, coupled with declining mail volume. A Government Accountability Office (GAO) study found that the USPS incurred net losses of $78 billion for fiscal years 2007 through 2019, including a net loss of $8.8 billion in 2019 alone, as mail volume and revenue continued to decline

The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the financial situation due to steep declines in mail volume, although the USPS reportedly has enough cash on hand to continue normal operations through August 2021 and can tap into a $10 billion Treasury Dept. credit line established by the CARES Act if needed.

Because of its financial condition, USPS has been trying to reform its operations to be more efficient and save taxpayer money, but several recent reforms sparked controversy in light of the upcoming 2020 election, particularly cutting back on overtime and leaving behind late arriving mail for delivery the following day. In response to the controversy, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said he is postponing any operational changes until after the election and that USPS has “ample capacity to deliver all election mail securely and on time.” Two USPS executive vice presidents wrote an op-ed in USA Today which stated:

“On any given day, the Postal Service delivers more than 425 million pieces of mail, and our best estimates are that election mail will account for less than 2% of all mail volume from mid-September until Election Day. Given our available processing capacity, we can easily handle the anticipated increase in election mail due to the COVID-19 pandemic, without impact to on-time performance.”

This legislation has the support of 157 cosponsors, including 156 Democrats and one Republican.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / Marco_Piunti)

AKA

Delivering for America Act

Official Title

To maintain prompt and reliable postal services during the COVID-19 health emergency, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed August 22nd, 2020
    Roll Call Vote 257 Yea / 150 Nay
    IntroducedAugust 11th, 2020

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    Put the sorting machines back. Put the mailboxes back. Put the postal service workers schedules back. Let them do their jobs. DeJoy needs to be fired and prosecuted for interfering with the mail.
    Like (376)
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    Another excuse to change the way we vote. We should not change the way we vote.
    Like (60)
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    UPDATED: The Postal Service Board of Governors unanimously formally requested this funding as did DeJoy himself in his Senate Testimony. All of these people were appointed by the trump- ALL of them. The Democrats are trying to honor the formal USPS request to ensure mail-in voting will not be corrupted by changes deemed necessary to meet the outrageous Republican law that mandates 75 years of benefits be prepaid for their employees- which is the main reason why the USPS is now running a deficit. Trumpublican nimrods! FACTS! Not the trump’s alternate fact fantasies which change daily. … … … DeJoy claimed that his drastic changes to the mail service was due to the fact that they were running a large deficit. Earlier, he claimed the mail backup was an unintended consequence of his changes. Mitch McConnell has stated that he prefers to fund the postal service after the election possibly to avoid voter backlash in his state, while trump’s crony DeJoy claims he has to make these cuts now. Further, DeJoy says that the removed mail sorting machines which were fully functional and quite expensive were needed more at other postal sites; There is no evidence that any have been relocated or are being put back in service. Several witnesses followed the trucks carrying these millions of dollar machines to recycling dumps. How, pray tell, does removing and moth-balling or trashing fully calibrated and functional mail sorting machines representing hundreds of millions of dollars of capital investment, each doing the work of thirty mail sorters save any money? This just does not add up. The House should get a summary of where the removed mail sorting machines went. Are they being stored away to be given up later to a privatized mail service as the Republicans have long envisioned - as yet another self-serving investment opportunity? Fund the mail service now, let the trumpublicans fall on their swords when the mail service cannot keep up with the mail-in ballots- and put DeJoy away for millions of counts of willfully interfering with mail delivery. DeJoy pledged that mail-in ballots would not be impacted by his changes. That is what was saying about his initial cost recovery efforts which has caused great backlogs at numerous central postal sites; Oh yeah, unintended consequences. DeJoy apologizes but the damage has already been done. Just like he will apologize when mail-in ballots get delayed to prove that the trump was right. Yeah, sure! Mail your ballots in as early as you can, I do not trust any of the trump’s cronies to ever do what is right and proper unless they can find some self-serving angle to do so. … … … As an aside, we applied early for mail in ballots, justified in this state by our age. I called the election board to assure that we were on the mailing list and was told that our ballots will be sent in the first batch of mailings. Should be mailed September 18th and will have them mailed back by at least September 22nd giving us ample time to assure that the election board has received them.
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    USPS is CRUCIAL to everyday life, thousands of jobs, and extremely substantial to upcoming elections.
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    OK......even IF there wasn't a pandemic with over 170,000 dead and thousands, if not millions more dependent on the USPS than EVER before in the history of our country.....and IF there wasn't THE most important election in the history of our country coming up in November and, in order to keep people safe, mail in voting is the logical way to do so....Even IF all that was NOT happening.....tanking the mail, when SO many vets, older citizens and others....depend on the mail for meds. etc and others (ebay vendors....those on Etsy, Blue Apron etc.) use the mail to make a living....Now, mail is delayed for days, if not weeks.....food from places like Blue Apron is rotting in warehouses (My daughter canceled her subscription (?) 'cause the food was kicking around .....somewhere for over a week.....she threw the food away).....farmers have ordered baby chicks through the mail routinely.....now, due to delay, the poor things are dying on the way.......Everything the POT (Party of Trump) touches either dies or is corrupted.
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    Get rid of the Postmaster General as he continues to remove equipment despite saying he stopped (and criminally charge him for each incident of mail interference, and medical events caused by delays in prescription deliveries) as the US Post Office has notified all states they may not be able to deliver ballots in a timely manner. Metro DC has added hundreds of secure drop boxes with electronic surveillance. “new reporting on Wednesday suggests that much of the damage has already been done and that some of DeJoy’s changes weren’t immediately halted after he released the statement.” “Photos of a postal facility in Portland, Ore., first reported by ABC News, appear to show dismantled mail sorting machines sitting in parts and wrapped in “caution” tape, with postal union leaders saying it’s “highly unlikely” the decommissioned machines will return to use at all, let alone before the election” “Parts of mail sorting machines were also found in a parking lot in Grand Rapids, Mich. by WOOD-TV reporter Heather Walker, who also reported that sorting machines are still being dismantled as of Wednesday, and that the “order came from Postmaster General DeJoy.” “The Postal Service recently notified nearly all states that it may not be able to deliver ballots in time for them to be counted. “ Replace him with an experienced postmaster general (DeJoy was hired without experience, proper vetting, or going through standard channels) to replace equipment ASAP in time for the election. It’s not just the mail in ballot to vote but also the request for an absentee ballot to be mailed. Our state recommends to wait 3 weeks to request & if not received, request again (so 6 weeks before the election) So Absentee Ballot needs to be requested by September 22nd! Instead of mailing absentee ballots consider secure drop boxes. Metro DC area is adding over 100 secure drop boxes with 24 hr surveillance instead of the usual 2 or 3 since the US Post Office has notified all states they may not be able to deliver ballots in a timely fashion. https://federalnewsnetwork.com/agency-oversight/2020/08/former-usps-executive-casts-doubts-on-vetting-process-for-postmaster-general/ https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewsolender/2020/08/19/reports-of-dismantled-usps-sorting-machines-continue-despite-dejoy-announcing-halt/ https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/postal-service-delays-prescription-drugs-put-thousands-american-lives-risk-n1237756 https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/maryland-virginia-dc-voting-drop-boxes/2020/08/18/8196243e-e0d6-11ea-b69b-64f7b0477ed4_story.html
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    Return the post offices to the condition and personnel they were at on January 1st 2020
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    Donald Trump and his creepy little helpers aren't interested in the rules, don't play by the rules, express contempt for the rules, get away with not obeying the rules, and malign anyone attempting to enforce the rules. Who is going to save democracy? Those of us who can succeed at voting despite Trump's open war on THAT particular rule?
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    The United States Postal Service is a crucial service for many, many people—especially those living in rural areas and older Americans such as me. In addition, the coronavirus epidemic has dramatically slashed the Postal Service’s revenue, enfeebling it ahead of the November general election. This $25 billion is needed in order to assure that the Postal Service continues to operate, especially during an election during which a record breaking number of mail-in ballots will be cast. This administration’s shenanigans with the Postal Service in advance of the election have forced me to the very difficult decision to risk my life, literally, going to the polls on November 3. Democracy is at stake in this election. That is something worth risking your life for.
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    History teaches us the importance of a strong and responsive postal system. Even the ancient Persian Empires possessed sophisticated postal systems that were the lifeline of their thriving metropolitan lifestyle. So, in what reality should we settle for less? In what situation should we allow ourselves to be relegated to a system of inefficiency, suppression and inequality? This is a no brainer- fund the postal service.
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    This yet another wasteful spending plan that I am sure has a lot of stuff that shouldn’t even be in it
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    Trump and the GOP have always wanted to privatize the USPS in addition to defunding it to sabotage the election. But first they have to destroy it. That's what DeJoy was brought in to do. And he was well on his way to doing that before he got caught. Bannon was the chief architect of the attempt to “ deconstruct the administrative state” which Trump has been doing since day one These corrupt grifters have no respect for government and no skills to govern. Come November 3 they all need to be voted out so we can return government to competent people who can govern wisely, manage effectively, and promote our American values
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    The USPS believes it has enough cash to operate normally through August 2021 and has a $10 billion line of credit it hasn’t utilized yet, so the $25 billion provided by this bill is unnecessary. USPS can also make necessary changes to its operations while maintaining capacity to process all election mail in a timely manner, given that it will represent less than 2% of all mail between now and the election.
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    Updated: DeJoy needs to be investigated, impeached, indicted for tampering with US Mail and election interference. Voters in North Carolina just received absentee ballots with Trump’s image on them! Congress???!!!
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    Save the USPS now. Fire dejoy now! Put back the machines and mail boxes. Impeach trump for election fraud and interference.
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    I am a disabled vet and I rely totally on the USPS for all my medications. The stress from worrying if my meds will make it on time is totally avoidable. Then what is going to happen after voting is over, will it go down the same road that it is now? The changes are to take affect after November 3rd?!? I will vote early by mail and put my ballot in a voting box so Trump has no control over my vote! The post office is not a business and should not be treated as such. The post office should not be politicized! Republicans are responsible for this attack if they don't do something now and after the election.
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    This is a must! The post office belongs to America, not to Trump.
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    The USPS is a public good regardless of how much it costs. It also provides thousands of jobs for Americans.
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    THIS IS NECESSARY! SAVE THE USPS
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    Yes I am in support in giving the USPS more aide. Especially now that the person in the executive branch is clearly trying to engaged in voting suppression and making it difficult for Americans to vote.
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