House Passes Postal Service Bill That Stands No Chance Of Becoming Law

( As expected, the House of Representatives passed a bill on Saturday aimed to prevent the U.S. Postal Service from making operational changes.

House Democrats are outraged that the changes at the USPS could affect the status of mail-in ballots for the upcoming presidential election in November. The bill probably doesn’t have much of a future, though, as it was passed mostly along party lines. Only 26 Republicans crossed the aisle to support the bill.

The bill next heads to the Senate for possible discussion, but it’s unlikely to pass — even if the Senate chooses to debate it.

New Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced last week that he decided to temporarily halt the cost-cutting moves he had implemented at the Postal Service until after November’s elections. But that wasn’t enough for Democrats, who said the agency still wasn’t reversing measures that were causing severe delays in postal delivery.

As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said of DeJoy:

“His comments are one thing; his actions will be another. And that’s why we have this legislation.”

In other words, Democrats don’t trust the postmaster general on his word and want to make sure that he has no power in making the changes he wants to make.

The House bill calls for no changes to be made at the Postal Service until the coronavirus pandemic ends. That includes restricting overtime hours and pay and removing mail-sorting machines. The bill also requires election mail to be handled as first-class mail with prioritized delivery.

During floor debate, Carolyn Maloney, who authored the bill and is the chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said:

“It makes absolutely no sense to implement these dramatic changes in the middle of a pandemic, less than three months before the November elections.”

In addition to the limitation on what can and can’t be done at the Postal Service, the House bill would provide $25 billion in support for operations. This funding was included in the House’s coronavirus economic relief package they passed back in May.

Despite the support for the bill in the House (257-150), it seems to be going nowhere from here. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell all but said he plans to ignore the bill and not take it under consideration. Even if he did and it somehow passed the Senate, though, the White House has threatened to veto it. So, those thinking this bill could get signed into law sometime soon seems like a far-fetched idea.

The top Republican on that same House Oversight and Reform Committee is Representative James Comer. Of the bill, he said:

“Like the Russia hoax and the impeachment sham, the Democrats have manufactured another scandal for political purposes.”

For his part, DeJoy said in testimony he gave to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that the agency he leads is “fully capable and committed to delivering the nation’s election mail securely and on time.”

“We all feel bad about what the dip in our service, the level, has been,” he said.