Crist Votes to Provide Emergency Funding to Post Office
The bill also requires the Postal Service to treat all official election mail as First-Class mail.
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-St. Petersburg, released this statement after the U.S. House of Representatives on Saturday (Aug. 22) passed the Delivering for America Act, legislation to provide $25 billion in critical funding to support the U.S. Postal Service.
The legislation, which passed by a vote of 257-150, prohibits the Postal Service from diminishing their operations or levels of service, returning them to their January 2020 standards as the nation continues to battle COVID-19. The bill provides the emergency funding recommended by the Trump-appointed USPS Board of Governors to keep the agency running, and requires the Postal Service to treat all official election mail as First-Class mail to protect against the disenfranchisement of voters who use mail-in ballots to participate in our democracy.
“Millions of Americans rely on the postal service as a lifeline, connecting them to food, medicine, and household goods, especially during this health crisis,” Crist said. “We will fiercely defend the American people’s access to their mail service, which in Florida also means their access to the ballot box. Our Founders knew the importance of the United States Post Office – they enshrined it in the Constitution. Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, will impede our postal workers or our support for the vital services they provide.”
Action to fund and protect USPS comes as veterans, seniors, and small businesses have been experiencing major delays in the delivery of essential mail, he said. Across the nation, millions have reported having to wait weeks for the delivery of prescription medicines, Social Security benefits, absentee ballots, paychecks, tax returns and more as the Postmaster General has implemented sweeping changes to degrade postal service – curtailing overtime, restricting deliveries, eliminating sorting machines, and removing mailboxes.
Crist shared the stories of local Pinellas residents who have been severely impacted by these changes, shining a light on the important and vital role the Postal Services plays in the lives of so many, especially some of our most vulnerable citizens – seniors and veterans.
The Delivering for America Act would prohibit:
- Any change that would generally affect service on a nationwide or substantially nationwide basis.
- Any revision of existing service standards and require that January 2020 standards be restored.
- Closing, consolidating, or reducing the hours of any post office or postal facility.
- Any prohibition on paying overtime to Postal Service officers or employees.
- Any change that would prevent the Postal Service from meeting its service standards or cause a decline in measurements of performance relative to those standards.
- Any change that would have the effect of delaying mail or increasing the volume of undelivered mail.
- The removal, decommissioning, or other stoppage of mail sorting machines, other than for routine maintenance.
- The removal of mailboxes.
Crist represents Florida’s 13th Congressional District, which includes south and mid-Pinellas County.
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