House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called her $3.6 billion mail-in voting proposal “Voting at Home” Wednesday, saying that in-person voting “becomes a health issue.”
“First of all, we’re now calling it ‘Voting at Home’ because that’s really what it’s all about, enabling people to vote at home,” the Democratic California congresswoman told MSNBC’s “The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell.” “And in the legislation we have additional funds, $3.6 billion, which is what is necessary for us to conduct an election.”
“This becomes a health issue, as we saw in Wisconsin, standing in those lines for that amount of time, going to places that are enclosed, is dangerous to your health. And again, vote by mail is more democratic. It gives people more options. It removes obstacles and barriers to voting, which is what we want to do.” (RELATED: Joe Scarborough Claims ‘A Lot’ Of Republicans ‘Don’t Want’ Black People To Vote By Mail)
In Pelosi’s plan “every voter would receive an absentee ballot” and would be able to vote and be provided with “safe opportunities for them to do so well in advance of Election Day but in adequate locations that are safe.”
The Trump administration is opposed to mass mail-in voting and on Wednesday threatened to withhold federal funds from states that practice it. President Donald Trump maintains that voting from home is just another way to enable voter fraud.
The Speaker is blending mail-in voting with her stated desire to maintain “a lively, thriving postal system.” Pelosi said the funds she is requesting in the bill for the U.S. Postal Service “is what has been recommended by the bipartisan board of governors” that oversees the federal agency — “all of them appointed by President Trump … and they unanimously agree that we must have a $25 billion infusion of appropriation for the postal service.” (RELATED: Maryland Reestablishes Mail-In Only Special Election, Resolving Inner-Conflict)
Pelosi said the board has asked for even more money in the future and promises “we’ll save that for another piece of legislation … “She added that “1.2 billion packages of medicine have gone through the mail — 90% of the medicine needed by our veterans comes to them through the mail.”
The Speaker argued that “this is a health issue in addition to a convenience issue for the American people in terms of shelter in place and ordering whatever they order through the mail as a convenience to them,” adding that the bill “is one of our Hills of Rome that we will fight and win.”