Tiger Beat on the Potomac morning email thingie:
GOING POSTAL — Democrats are ramping up their oversight of the U.S. Postal Service amid growing concerns that the beleaguered agency will be ill-equipped to handle a surge of mail-in voting ahead of the November election — a rapidly unfolding crisis on Capitol Hill.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has decided to bring back the House later this week to address USPS issues, as Heather, Bres and Sarah scooped over the weekend, reflecting a feeling among leadership that it’s politically untenable to keep the chamber in recess until mid-September. “Lives, livelihoods and the life of our American Democracy are under threat from the President,” Pelosi said in a “Dear Colleague” letter. And Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to follow suit, with GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine joining his calls to cut recess short.
Among the actions Dems want to take: Pelosi announced that the House will vote on legislation from House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) to block the new organizational and operational changes at USPS in an effort to protect mailing services ahead of the election. House Dems will hold a caucus call at 11:30 a.m. today to discuss it further. Schumer, meanwhile, said he plans to introduce legislation to require ballots cast by mail to be treated as first class and restore mail-sorting machines that had been taken out of commission.
A quick poking around and I found Maloney’s bill (Fair Warning mobile readers, it’s a PDF). Essentially it prohibits USPS from making changes to service, and reverts operations to where they were on Jan. 1 of this year; it would expire January 1 2021.
Given that there is documented evidence of the sorting equipment being taken apart, I’m not sure if they can be reassembled and returned to service.
The WaPo reports that Wee the Peeple were heard:
“Thousands of voters have called government offices in recent days to ask whether it is still safe to mail their ballots, according to officials across the country. Attorneys general from at least six states are huddling to discuss possible lawsuits against the administration to block it from reducing mail service between now and the election, several told The Washington Post.
“State leaders are scrambling to see whether they can change rules to give voters more options, and Democrats are planning a massive public education campaign to shore up trust in the vote and the Postal Service.”
More on the states’ AGs (or would that be AsG? Pedants, please report! and emphasis is mine):
“Massachusetts’s top prosecutor is discussing a lawsuit with other state attorneys general to prevent the Trump administration from potentially further curtailing US Postal Service operations amid an expected rush of voting by mail in this fall’s general election.
“The litigation, which could be announced as early as this week, adds to the rush of measures state and federal officials are weighing as President Trump mounts repeated assaults on the expansion of voting by mail, claiming without evidence that it’s a magnet for fraud and that it could de-legitimize the election.
“Attorney General Maura Healey said Sunday she is in discussions with several other states’ attorneys about ‘all available’ legal options after Louis DeJoy, the new postmaster general and a leading Republican donor, made a series of organizational changes within the Postal Service, stoking fears voters who submit ballots by mail could be disenfranchised this fall.
“Prosecutors are discussing ‘legal action to remedy what the Trump administration has done and to prevent them from further interfering with the operations of the Postal Service,’ Healey said in a phone interview Sunday. ‘Voting is happening now. This is a now issue.’”
If you have a moment, you could email your state’s AG and demand they get in on the action. This seems pretty straight forward as conducting elections are enumerated to the states in the Constitution. Every state has standing.
*See what I did there? Also: gross!