Politics

EXCLUSIVE: Republican Senators Rip Democrats Over Post Office Concerns

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Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
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Republicans in the Senate are not pleased about Democrats’ recent concerns with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) before the elections in November, many saying they believe the Democratic party is trying to scare voters.

The Daily Caller spoke to a number of Republican senators about the USPS, as Democrats like Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi have said President Donald Trump is trying to “sabotage” the November elections. Republicans did not seem very worried about the USPS, instead, they focused their concerns on what they described as Democrats trying to lower American voter’s faith in the voting system.

“Speaker Pelosi continues to play political games amid a pandemic by holding the USPS hostage. If the Senate returns for a vote, it will be on a targeted stimulus package to help Americans recover from this unprecedented pandemic, not on a shotgun bill to create universal mail-in ballots or to fund the Democrats’ $3 trillion blue-state bailout,” Republican Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler told the Daily Caller.

Loeffler’s comments come after Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said that he will suspend changes to the postal service until after the 2020 election to avoid interfering with races across the country. Democrats were upset over a July 10 internal memo from USPS said there would be changes to the system, such as prohibiting extra trips to deliver mail, stopping carriers from working overtime, and leaving mail at facilities if the workday is over. Another August memo from USPS said they would put in place a “hiring freeze” but that it would not “initiate a reduction in force, and there are no immediate employee impacts.”

In Dejoy’s Tuesday statement he said he wants to “avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail” as the House was set to return back from recess Saturday to pass legislation for the USPS. DeJoy has also been called to testify before the House and the Senate, something a spokesman for Republican Florida Sen. Rick Scott said the Senator is looking forward to.

“This is just the latest example of Democrats demagoguing and fear mongering. Florida has vote by mail, and it works well. Senator Rick Scott looks forward to speaking with United States Postal Service Postmaster General Louis DeJoy at Friday’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing, and will work with his colleagues to make sure USPS has the resources it needs to continue operations,” a spokesman for Republican Florida Sen. Rick Scott told the Daily Caller.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) questions Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli and Assistant HHS Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec during a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on March 5, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

Republican Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn slammed Pelosi and Democrats, saying they should be focused on a coronavirus stimulus package, as negotiations have stalled.

“The postal service has needed reform for decades, and the postal unions have failed to follow through year after year. Despite the unions’ failure to act, the USPS has record cash on hand and no liquidity problems inhibiting election mail delivery. Tennesseans trust their election officials to effectively and safely manage absentee ballots. The Democrats’ sudden assertion that Congress should take up the mantle of reform when we have a pandemic on our hands is just ludicrous. Speaker Pelosi should stop perpetuating these false claims and instead work on a viable compromise for covid relief,” Blackburn told the Daily Caller.

Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee had a similar message, saying issues with the USPS are not new and that Democrats are trying to affect voter confidence.

“The postal service has been slowly decreasing its capacity for over a decade now. That some on the left are just now using this fact to undermine confidence in our elections is extremely sad,” Lee told the Daily Caller. (RELATED: Postmaster To Suspend USPS Changes Until After Election)

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, questions Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as he testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill on September 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Andrew Harnik – Pool/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, in the House, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy sent a letter Wednesday to his Republican colleagues slamming Pelosi for pushing a “conspiracy theory.”

“This week the Speaker announced she is bringing members back for an ’emergency’ weekend session to deal with a so-called crisis at the United States Postal Service. But the facts prove House Democrats are manipulating information and giving validity to a conspiracy theory,” McCarthy said in the letter.

McCarthy went on to say he has confidence in DeJoy and believes he can handle any problems at the USPS. (RELATED: Senate GOP Remains Stuck Even After Pelosi’s Compromise)

“Instead of listening to the experts and analyzing facts, the Speaker opted to slander the Postmaster General by using baseless accusations and attacking his character. The current Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy was elected unanimously by the USPS Board of Governors as Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer on May 6, 2020. Mr. DeJoy was previously the Chief Executive Officer of a logistics company that supported Postal Service operations and private-sector companies. He is eminently qualified to take on the long-term issues with the Postal Service,” McCarthy’s continued.

The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs announced Tuesday that it will hold a hearing Friday with DeJoy as his actions at the USPS have been called into question by Democrats in both the House and Senate.