• Both houses of Congress are on their August recess. Pelosi warned the House last night she would bring lawmakers back to the Capitol
  • Sen. Susan Collins said the Senate should return to Washington, too
  • Fears were mounting that unless the postal service gets help, it won't be able to handle the deluge of mail expected for the November election


The House Democratic caucus decided Monday to hold a vote Saturday on a measure blocking changes recently imposed on the U.S. Postal Service in a wave of cost-cutting measures as President Trump insisted he’s just trying to improve the agency and blamed its problems on undercharging Amazon.

At the same time, two lawmakers asked for an FBI investigation into Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to determine whether he and the USPS Board of Governors are trying intentionally to delay mail delivery for personal or political gain.

DeJoy agreed to testify next Monday before theHouse Oversight and Reform Committee, Politico reported.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told the Democratic caucus legislation is nearly ready to keep the post office from making any operational changes through the end of the year. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told lawmakers, who are in the midst of their August recess, in a letter Sunday to be ready to return to Washington. They had not been scheduled to return until Sept. 14.

“Alarmingly, across the nation, we see the devastating effects of the president’s campaign to sabotage the election by manipulating the postal service to disenfranchise voters,” Pelosi said in her letter.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said the Senate should return as well to deal with both the postal service and the next round of coronavirus relief.

Pelosi and other top Democrats have been warning changes at the postal service would undermine the Nov. 3 election, hampering the agency’s ability to deliver on time what is expected to be a deluge of mail-in ballots – an estimated 80 million – because of the coronavirus pandemic.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., accused Democrats of fabricating a crisis to "distract from their own failures."

DeJoy has cut overtime, removed some high-speed sorting equipment, imposed new rules on when mail can be sorted and last week warned he could not guarantee timely delivery of mail-in ballots.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll indicated Monday 47% of voters who back presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden plan to vote by mail compared to 11% of Trump backers. Only about 20% of those queried said they planned to vote in person on Election Day. The disparity could undermine confidence in the election results if quickly counted in-person voting favored one candidate while the slow-to-be-counted mail-in ballots favored the other.

A federal lawsuit was filed Monday in New York against the changes as several state attorneys general considered similar action.

Trump, however, maintained Monday he’s just trying to improve the postal service, saying it has been run badly for years and accusing it of not charging enough for package shipping.

“Amazon and other companies like it, they come and they drop all of their mail into a post office,” Trump said on Fox News. “They drop packages into the post office by the thousands and then they say, ‘Here, you deliver them.’ We lose $3 and $4 a package on average. We lose massive amounts of money.”

A recent analysis by CNBC, however, indicated Amazon’s use of the postal service actually may be saving the agency. First class and marketing mail, and periodicals are the money-losers.

Critics have said the changes imposed by DeJoy have slowed mail delivery. On Monday Reps. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., and Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., asked the FBI to investigate whether DeJoy and others at the agency have intentionally attempted to impede the delivery of mail.

“There is overwhelming evidence that Postmaster General DeJoy and the Board of Governors have hindered the passage of mail. At least 19 mail sorting machines, which can process 35,000 pieces of mail per hour, have been dismantled and over 671 are slated for reductions later this year,” the two said in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray.

“If Postmaster General DeJoy and/or the Board of Governors took these actions ‘for the purpose of interfering with, or affecting, the nomination or the election of any candidate’ then they violated both [federal law]. Indeed, there is evidence that making mail-in balloting more difficult may be one of the motivations for the changes instituted at the Post Office.”

(Last updated 4:35 p.m. EDT)