The boss of the United States Post Office, the USPS, on Tuesday announced his decision to suspend reforms accused of obstructing the smooth running of postal voting, and therefore of the presidential election in November, and dictated, according to the Democratic opposition, by Donald Trump.
“I am suspending these initiatives until the end of the elections”, announced in a statement Louis DeJoy, a close friend of Donald Trump, at the head of the American post office since the spring.
He said changes “prior to (his) arrival” had “raised concerns as the country prepares to hold elections amid a devastating pandemic.”
These reforms, which are supposed to straighten out the financial trajectory of this heavily deficit public service, are accused of slowing down mail. The USPS had thus warned that it could not guarantee that all the ballots sent by mail would arrive on time. These could then not be taken into account.
The Democratic opposition sees the hand of Donald Trump, candidate for re-election, to prevent the postal vote, which he suspects of being favorable to his Democratic opponent Joe Biden.
“The post office is ready today to manage the electoral mail that it will receive this fall, regardless of its volume,” his boss assured Tuesday in a statement.
Post office opening hours will be maintained, letterboxes in the streets, some of which had been removed, will be maintained, and sorting machines will not be removed, specifies Louis DeJoy.
As for the overtime which had been suppressed, causing significant delays in the delivery of mail, it could again be worked “if necessary”.
The USPS is expected to receive $ 10 billion in aid as part of the economic aid plan the White House and Congress are trying to put together, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday morning on the CNBC channel.
Postal voting has been used for a long time in the United States but must be stepped up for the November presidential election in order to limit the risks of Covid-19 contamination.
House Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi called on elected officials to shorten their August break to return to vote for emergency aid to the USPS. And Louis DeJoy is due to be heard on Friday by a Senate committee and in the House on Monday.