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Capitol Voices

Debunking 5 Myths Democrats Are Peddling About the Postal Service

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

The Democrats have fabricated another baseless conspiracy theory, this time targeting the U.S. Postal Service. Just like the Russian hoax and impeachment sham, the Democrats have irresponsibly peddled myths to undermine President Trump and the 2020 election. But in doing so, they only undermine their own credibility.

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Democrats hastily forced a vote on a bill to provide an unnecessary bailout for the Postal Service and prevent it from making reforms to improve service for Americans and protect its workforce during the pandemic. During this partisan process, Democrats allowed for no Republican input. The bill had no hearing or markup. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testified after they passed the bill. This is a backwards process and a political stunt.

Once we finally did hear from the Postmaster General, he easily debunked all the Democrats’ myths about the Postal Service.

First, Democrats have claimed the Postal Service is running out of money and will cease operations before the election.

This is false. Postmaster General DeJoy stated in his sworn congressional testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform that the Postal Service will not run out of money before Election Day. Currently, the Postal Service has over $15 billion in cash on hand. That's enough money to keep it solvent through August 2021. Additionally, the Postal Service has access to an untapped $10 billion loan provided by the recent coronavirus stimulus package. The Postal Service does not need a $25 billion bailout to ensure election mail is delivered and picked up on time.

Second, Democrats claim the Postal Service cannot manage the volume of mail resulting from the upcoming election.

Again, this claim is false. In 2019, the Postal Service handled an average of 471 million pieces of mail each day. Assuming all 158 million registered voters decided to vote by mail, the total volume of requested and mailed ballots would not exceed a typical day of total mail volume handled by the Postal Service. Postmaster General DeJoy confirmed the Postal Service can handle the anticipated increase in election mail this fall. 

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Third, Democrats claim President Trump is using the Postal Service to sabotage the election, which is patently false.

The Postmaster General does not report to the President; he reports to a bipartisan Board of Governors. Additionally, the Postal Service is advising state election boards to take into consideration its operations and logistics to ensure ballots are requested on time so they can be returned and counted. Some states allow voters to request absentee ballots the day before the election. This does not comport with established delivery times. The Postal Service can treat ballots as First Class Mail – or better than First Class Mail as the Postmaster General promised – but they cannot break the laws of time and space.

Fourth, Democrats claim Postmaster DeJoy is removing blue collection boxes and mail sorting machines to sabotage the election. This is an absurd claim. The removal process is routine. The Postal Service has removed 35,000 boxes over the last 10 years, usually because not enough people were using them. Under President Obama, at least 12,000 mailboxes were removed and no one cried foul then. Some mail sorters have been removed because they aren’t needed anymore.

And lastly, Democrats claim the Postmaster General’s pilot program to improve operations and his effort to reduce excessive overtime were intended to sabotage the election.

The Postmaster General testified before Congress that he has not eliminated overtime. Instead, he sought to get postal operations running on time, so there would be less need to rely on overtime and to reduce extra mail truck trips. With overtime costs of $1.1 billion in 2018 alone, why wouldn't you try to improve on that?

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The facts expose the Democrats’ fake crisis about the Postal Service and lay bare their true intentions. This latest manufactured crisis is not about money for the Postal Service, it’s about politics in an election year. It’s true the Postal Service needs reforms to be fiscally sustainable in the long-term and better serve Americans, but the Democrats’ phony bill and partisan politics don’t deliver.

Representative James Comer (R-Ky.) is Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. You can follow him on Twitter at @RepJamesComer.

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