DENVER — U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Colorado) and Jason Crow (D-Colorado) held a press conference Tuesday outside the downtown Denver post office to discuss what they call a “rapidly evolving crisis” at the U.S. Postal Service.
The lawmakers were joined by Colorado residents whose lives and livelihoods are being impacted by efforts from President Donald Trump’s administration to slow down the mail.
DeGette said in the last few weeks, her office has been inundated with more than 12,000 calls, emails and letters from concerned constituents over the matter.
“Most of the people I’ve heard from are not only worried about their mail being delayed, most of them saying they are already feeling the effects of the mail delays,’ DeGette said.
Degette said she’s heard from hard-working families who are struggling to pay bills because their paychecks haven’t arrived in the mail. She said some small business owners are struggling to stay afloat because the goods and products they need are not arriving on time. DeGette said she’s also heard from seniors and veterans who are not getting their live-saving medication because it’s delayed by the mail.
“80% of veterans receive their medications by mail,” DeGette said. “Delaying their prescriptions could cause serious damage to their health and well-being.”
Both lawmakers touted Colorado’s success in previous elections with mail-in voting, but said there needs to be a healthy, solvent post office to be able to deliver and receive the ballots.
“There’s no evidence of wide-spread fraud, it’s just not true,” Crow said. “It is safe, it is secure and it is needed more than ever during a global pandemic because Americans should not have to choose between their health and their life and exercising their fundamental constitutional right to vote.”
In recent weeks, the USPS has found itself in the middle of a high-stakes debate over voting in America.
President Donald Trump has previously alleged that cutting U.S. Postal Service funding would starve the agency of money Democrats say it needs to process an anticipated surge in mail-ballots during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. House of Representatives is returning to Washington this week to vote on legislation aimed at blocking the Trump administration’s efforts to reorganize the U.S. Postal Service ahead of the upcoming November election.
“Trump is trying to shut down the postal service to cheat in the upcoming election,” DeGette said in a tweet. “This is a direct threat not only to our Democracy, but to the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans as well. Congress needs to return to Washington immediately to address this crisis.”
A vote is expected Saturday on legislation, the “Delivering for America Act,” that would prohibit any changes in mail delivery or services for 2020.