By Betsy McCaughey
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) warns that “dangerous new policies” made by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who took the job in June, will prevent mail-in ballots from being counted. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) claims there’s a conspiracy to “undermine and dismantle the post office ahead of the November election.” Don’t fall for the scaremongering.
Fact No. 1: The USPS is ready to handle mail-in voting. Even if every voter in the U.S. relied on the mail instead of voting in person, first-class postal volume would increase by less than 2%. That’s nothing. Yet only half that number, about 80 million, are expected to vote by mail. The Post Office handles a staggering 472 million pieces of mail a day.
Fact No. 2: The postal service has enough cash on hand to pay bills and meet payroll until August 2021. It doesn’t need emergency funding. It needs reform.
Disregarding these facts, Pelosi called the House into a rare Saturday session to pass a bill giving $25 billion in “emergency” funding to the Post Office. That bill was sheer theatrics. It will go nowhere in the Senate.
As for DeJoy’s new policies, they are urgently needed. The major reason is that, with email and other technologies, people are using first-class mail less, and the postal service is bleeding money. To stop the losses, DeJoy began unplugging some automatic mail sorters, which are expensive to run and are operating way below capacity. Makes sense. Any business faced with less demand tries to cut overhead costs. He’s also trimming overtime, which has soared almost 100% in the last decade. That’s unpopular with the letter carriers’ union, which backs Joe Biden.
Democrats depict these reforms, which were proposed by experts long before DeJoy’s appointment, as a criminal conspiracy. Recently, House Oversight Chairman Carolyn Maloney claimed Americans “want to go back to the way things were.” Nonsense, taxpayers don’t want their money wasted running unneeded machines. And Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) had the gall to ask DeJoy if he was counting on a pardon like Roger Stone, intimating that bringing efficiency to the postal service is illegal.
Every year since 2009, the General Accounting Office has rated the USPS a “high risk” agency nearing failure, and Congress has done nothing but shovel in money. The Post Office, which is supposed to earn enough revenue to cover its own costs, has burned through $78 billion in losses since then.
In May, the Government Accountability Office reported that the USPS’s “current business model is not financially sustainable.”
Democrats portray DeJoy as a stooge. Though he’s donated large sums to the Republican National Committee and Donald Trump’s campaign, he was named postmaster general by a bipartisan board of governors, which supported him unanimously. He built a successful trucking business out of nothing. These are just the skills the postal service needs.
Yet, Democratic lawmakers accuse him of being “an accomplice in the president’s campaign to cheat in the election.” No facts support that charge. In 2016, it was Russian meddling. This time, Dems are concocting a different story—postal meddling.
With real crises facing the nation—including a pandemic and huge business failures—Dems are wasting time and money on this fake crisis.
At the hearing, DeJoy said the postal service would be ready for the election. But state election officials need to allow a week for mailed ballots to reach voters, and another week for voters to return them. A two-week turnaround. New York, are you listening? Thousands of ballots went uncounted in the June primary, because voters were allowed to request mail-in ballots three days before the election.
DeJoy was also asked about states that are mailing ballots to all registered voters. What can the USPS guarantee? He answered that the postal service’s job is to deliver mail to the address shown. Period. He cannot guarantee a registered voter lives there or will be the one who fills out the ballot. Looks like it’s the states that have work to do to ensure a fair election.
Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and author of The Next Pandemic, available at Amazon.com. Contact her at [email protected].