Congresswoman Terri Sewell, D-Alabama, voted in favor of H.R. 8015, the Delivering for America Act, which would provide $25 billion in critical emergency funding for the United States Postal Service to maintain its high level of service.
Sponsors say that the American public depends on the USPS as not only a critical pathway to vote by mail but to send and receive crucial packages including prescriptions and paychecks during this pandemic.
“In the recent weeks, we have seen this administration push forward sweeping new operational changes that degrade postal service, delay the mail and threaten to deny the ability of eligible Americans to cast their votes through the mail in the upcoming elections in a timely fashion,” Sewell said. “President Trump has made it clear that he is willing to derail the Postal Service for the purpose of undermining the upcoming election. As a proud daughter of Selma, I have made it my mission in Congress to continue the unparalleled legacy of my friend, mentor and hero, Congressman John Lewis. I will continue to fight tirelessly to eradicate voter suppression and this is no exception.”
“Across Alabama, USPS employs nearly 8,000 men and women who are currently serving on the front lines of this pandemic to ensure the vital postal needs of the American public are met,” Sewell continued. “I am proud to stand with these essential workers in supporting this legislation, which contains critically important measures to provide security and additional support for the postal service, and all Alabamians impacted by this pandemic.”
Supporters say that H.R. 8015 provides critical funding to support 8,000 Alabama postal workers and protect the critical services that Americans rely on from the USPS.
The bill includes a number of provisions that would protect the USPS from operational changes as well as provide necessary fiscal relief for the agency. These include $25 billion in emergency funding requested by the Postal Service with the unanimous support of the bipartisan Postal Board of Governors — all of whom were appointed by President Trump.
This funding was also included in the Heroes Act, which the U.S. House of Representatives passed three months ago.
Additionally, it would prohibit any changes that would generally affect service on a substantially nationwide basis, revise existing service standards, prevent the USPS from meeting its service standards, cause a decline in performance measurement, consolidate or reduce hours of any postal office or postal facility or prohibit overtime pay, or delay mail delivery or increase volume of undelivered mail.
The bill would also require the Postal Service to treat all official election mail as First-Class mail. Additionally, it would prohibit the removal of mailboxes and the removal, decommissioning or other stoppage of mail sorting machines, other than for routine maintenance. It also explicitly reverses any changes already implemented to the operations or policies of the Postal Service that delay mail delivery.
I stand with the @USPS and I look forward to returning to Washington to vote in favor of its funding. The American people need this essential service now more than ever! #DontMessWithUSPS pic.twitter.com/Nip2mUVjBx
— Rep. Terri A. Sewell (@RepTerriSewell) August 18, 2020
Postmaster Louis DeJoy has argued that his reforms, which are opposed by the postal workers union, are needed to reform the USPS and prevent it from hemorrhaging billions of dollars.
DeJoy has also agreed to postpone implementing his plan until after the Nov. 3 general election. Republicans argue that H.R. 8015 would prevent much-needed reforms from taking place.
Sewell represents Alabama’s 7th Congressional District. Sewell is serving in her fifth term. She does not have a Republican opponent in the Nov. 3 general election.