House passes $25 billion Postal Service emergency funding bill

House passes $25 billion Postal Service emergency funding bill

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation giving $25 billion in emergency funding to the U.S. Postal Service to help with the coronavirus crisis.

It also seeks to reverse operational changes made by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, which some say could impact the November election.

With tens of millions of voters expected to mail in their ballots this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Democrats accuse DeJoy of removing postal equipment to help President Trump.

"He knows he can't win at the ballot box, so he's going to use every instrument at his control, which has never been done before, to try to win this election," said U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis.

Testifying before the U.S. Senate on Friday, DeJoy said the changes were aimed at cutting costs for the financially struggling Postal Service and nothing else.

"Trying to have any impact on the election is an outrageous claim," DeJoy said.

He said no more changes would take place until after the election, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went ahead and called lawmakers back to vote on the Postal Service legislation.

West Tennessee Republican Congressman David Kustoff accused Pelosi of trying to frighten the public.

"Frankly, the postal service is perfectly capable of handling election mail," said Kustoff. "This bill, it's an unnecessary waste of taxpayer money and I'm voting no."

The bill passed the Democratic-controlled House on Saturday by a vote of 257-150. Twenty-six Republicans voted in favor of it.

But it may run into problems in the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted, "Republicans are committed to making sure the Postal Service remains well equipped to fulfill its important duties. But the Senate will not pass stand-alone legislation..."

Republicans say they may consider additional Postal Service funding in a coronavirus relief package.

The postmaster general will face more tough questioning on Monday when he testifies before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

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