BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced on Tuesday that she has joined a multistate coalition that will sue the Trump Administration over budget cuts at the U.S. Postal Service.
Just minutes after that announcement, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said in a statement that he will suspend the changes being made at the post office until after the election.
"I came to the Postal Service to make changes to secure the success of this organization and its long-term sustainability. I believe significant reforms are essential to that objective, and work toward those reforms will commence after the election," DeJoy said in the statement. "In the meantime, there are some longstanding operational initiatives — efforts that predate my arrival at the Postal Service — that have been raised as areas of concern as the nation prepares to hold an election in the midst of a devastating pandemic. To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded."
DeJoy is set to testify before the U.S. House next week, according to the Associated Press. Many lawmakers are concerned that cost cutting measures taken by the postmaster general, who is a major Trump donor, would negatively impact the upcoming election. DeJoy will also appear before a Senate committee on Friday.
Meanwhile, USPS announced over the weekend they will stop the removal of mailboxes for the next 90 days after numerous complaints across the country, according to the Washington Post.
Attorney General Healey said the changes at the USPS go beyond the 2020 election. "Service and policy changes at the Postal Service, including limiting staff overtime and so-called “late or extra shifts,” have impacted the prompt delivery of mail to Americans who rely on the Postal Service for everything from medical prescriptions to ballots," a press release said.
“By interfering with the Postal Service, President Trump is putting both our democracy and people’s health at risk,” Healey said. “We are suing to ensure the integrity of our electoral process and to make sure each and every vote is counted during this election.”
When asked if he was encouraging the postmaster general to slow mail, President Donald Trump told reporters Monday that he has “encouraged everybody: Speed up the mail, not slow the mail.”
Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin has also expressed concern over the changes at the USPS.
“The postal service has been able to deliver ballots for elections even during war time. So, the idea that suddenly they can’t do it because there’s cutbacks strikes me as politically motivated,” Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin told WBZ NewsRadio Tuesday morning. “I think that we need to make sure that every citizen, in respect of who they’re voting for, doesn’t matter who they’re voting for, they have a right to have their ballot counted. And we want to make sure that happens.”
Massachusetts has been pushing for mail-in voting to make sure everyone can vote safely during the coronavirus pandemic.
President Trump has consistently said that he is opposed to mail-in voting. On Monday, he said that “universal mail-in is a very dangerous thing. It’s fraught with fraud and every other thing that can happen, and we have to be very, very careful.”
However, the president did say that absentee ballots are “great.”
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