The USPS Is Under Presidential Assault

The United States Postal Services’ plight began long before the Trump administration denied it emergency funds. 

In 2006, the Republican-led U.S. Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which required the USPS to create a $72 billion dollar fund that financed 75 years worth of retiree healthcare benefits. In the decade that followed, the postal service company reported a total loss of $62.4 billion dollars—$54.8 billion of which were attributed to PAEA.

Illustration by Jacques Fleischer.
JACQUES FLEISCHER / THE REPORTER

After 14 years of being in dire financial crisis, the USPS saw a glimmer of hope in the USPS Fairness Act. If its enactment hadn’t been interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, the act would have repealed PAEA. The situation became worse in June when Louis DeJoy was appointed as Postmaster General and CEO of the USPS. 

DeJoy implemented changes in the company—like removing some mailboxes and sorting machines across the nation—despite having no prior experience in the postal service market. He has also invested more than $30 million in USPS competitors, according to USA Today.

With Election Day just a few months away and in the midst of a global pandemic, more Americans are expected to vote by mail than ever before. Because of this, Democrats tried to temporarily fix the USPS situation.

The party called on Congress to approve $25 billion dollars in emergency funds for the company. However, Trump rejected it.

In an interview with FOX Business on Aug. 13, Trump admitted that he would block additional funding and assistance to the USPS in an effort to sabotage mail-in voting. He said that the method facilitates election fraud—despite the fact that he himself voted by mail. Trump even suggested delaying the election until people can vote in person, but with the end of the pandemic nowhere in sight, it’s unclear when that would be.

Since then, many have used social media to accuse the Trump administration of election fraud and voter suppression. For example, a petition to “Save the USPS” has garnered more than 1 million signatures in support. 

It’s clear that Trump doesn’t want to leave office and will do anything to prevent losing the election to Democratic candidate Joe Biden. After all, he was also unwilling to accept that he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton in 2016, claiming that he had won “if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” 

National polls show that Biden has been ahead in public favor for much of 2020. Trump fears losing in a free and fair election so he has resorted to one last, desperate attempt to stay in office—suppressing the vote of the American people.

If Trump’s many instances of incompetency, lies, hypocrisy, misogyny, and blatant racism during his presidency have not dissuaded his supporters, perhaps this act of anti-democracy will. 

Voting on Nov. 3 is of utmost importance. And if you’re able to, vote early—especially when opting to vote by mail. No matter what your political affiliation is, we as Americans must do everything we can to ensure our voice is heard during this election.

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