Illinois’ Democratic congressional delegation on Tuesday accused President Donald Trump of sabotaging and playing “Al Capone” with the U.S. Postal Service.
“President Trump is attempting to gangster the Postal Service, to use it for his own political purposes and convince people, if he can, not to vote by mail,” U.S. Rep. Danny Davis said standing outside the Postal Service’s Chicago headquarters. “We disagree. We are not going to stand for it.”
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is expected to testify before Senate and House committees beginning Friday and respond to concerns about how cuts he’s instituted since he took over in June have slowed mail delivery and how they could affect mail-in ballots in November.
Later Tuesday, DeJoy said he planned to “suspend” some operational changes until after the election “to avoid even the appearance of impact on election mail.”
“The Postal Service is ready to handle whatever volume of election mail it receives,” DeJoy said in a statement.
U.S. Rep Jan Schakowsky said her office has been inundated with calls from worried constituents.
“Our phones have been ringing off the hook,” Schakowsky said. “We’ve gotten some pretty desperate calls from people waiting for their medications — very nervous that (they’re) not coming.”
The delegation is supporting the “Deliver for America Act,” a bill aiming to reverse DeJoy’s cuts and return service to the way it was at the start of 2020.
“The president has been clear that this the attempt to discredit the Postal Service and make people unwilling to vote by mail, but we will not be defeated. The American people are going to be able to vote and they are going to be able to vote by mail,” Schakowsky said.
In recent days, Trump has spoke of his opposition to widespread mail-in voting for the November election — and additional funding for the post office to facilitate it — telling Fox News it could lead to the “greatest fraud in U.S. history.”
U.S. Rep Mike Quigley recited the Postal Service’s motto about delivering through rain and snow.
“It doesn’t say: ‘Unless it hurts the president’s reelection,’” Quigley said.
U.S. Rep Sean Casten said he, too, has had constituents calling him, saying, “Where are my meds?”
“If your goal is to kill more Americans, slow down the U.S. Postal Service,” Casten said. “And if you don’t trust democracy, if you think the rule of law doesn’t matter, if you think the only way you can win an election is to make sure people don’t vote, slow down the U.S. Postal Service. We’re not going to let that happen,”