House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday that she is summoning House of Representatives members back to Washington, D.C. to vote on a bill to block President Donald Trump‘s attempts to change the USPS ahead of the elections.

“Lives, livelihoods and the life of our American democracy are under threat from the president,” Pelosi said in a statement to Democratic lawmakers. “That is why I am calling upon the House to return to session later this week.”

Pelosi and the House lawmakers are planning to vote on the Delivering for America Act, introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) no later than August 22, which “prohibits the Postal Service from implementing any changes to operations or level of service it had in place on January 1, 2020.”

Democrats’ concerns come as Trump has been making claims that in-mail voting is likely to lead to voter fraud and has admitted to slowing funds to USPS. Pelosi wrote in a letter that Trump has been involved in a “campaign to sabotage the election by manipulating the Postal Service to disenfranchise voters.”

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Trump’s new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has implemented changes that he said are aimed to be economically efficient but have provoked widespread concerns nationwide. The changes include ending overtime pay and the removal or transfer of some sorting machines. Service disruptions could affect processing of mail-in ballots for the November elections – the USPS is expected to receive nearly 80 million ballots amid the coronavirus pandemic. Pelosi wrote that DeJoy will “degrade postal service, delay the mail, and – according to the Postal Service itself – threaten to deny the ability of eligible Americans to cast their votes through the mail in the upcoming elections in a timely fashion.”

On Friday, the Postal Service said most states may not be able to receive mail-in ballots in time to be counted for the November election.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Sunday that the concern about service overhaul is no more than a “political narrative by my Democrat colleagues.”

“The president of the United States is not going to interfere with anybody casting their votes in a legitimate way, whether it’s the post office or anything else,” he said during an interview with CNN’s State of the Union.

Trump, in an interview to Fox & Friends on Monday, accused Democrats of drawing attention to USPS in order to get more resources for the coronavirus relief package that is expected to be discussed between Republicans and Democrats.

“This is a con game by Pelosi and Schumer,” Trump said. “Look, the post office is 25 billion sitting there, but they really want $1 trillion to bail out their badly run states.”

A coalition of Democratic attorneys general are also considering to file a lawsuit against the administration over the changes in the USPS services and an alarm over voting disruptions.

“We are going to make sure that every American’s vote counts this fall, whether cast by mail or in person,” said Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D). “My colleagues and I are working as we speak to determine what Trump and DeJoy are doing, whether they have already violated or are likely to violate any laws, and what tools we have at our disposal to put a stop to President Trump’s ongoing attack on our Postal Service and our democracy.”

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Polina Kuznetsova

Article by Polina Kuznetsova