U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had members of Congress return to Washington to vote Saturday on a Democratic proposal that would provide $25 billion in funding for the beleaguered United States Postal Service and block further changes in operations that Democrats and government watchdogs say have delayed mail service throughout the country.
Asked whether U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy supported the measure, a spokesman replied with a statement that didn’t answer the question but offered general support for the bill.
“We must have a functioning post office,” said Cassidy, a Republican from Baton Rouge. “There are long term problems that must be fixed, but while they are being fixed, mail and medications must be delivered.”
Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins, who is Cassidy’s main Democratic opponent, said he supported the measure, known as the Delivering for America Act.
“It’s a common sense approach so that every veteran and senior gets their medicine, so that no American is left behind,” Perkins said in an interview.
The bill, he said, “stems from the reports that the post office wasn’t approving overtime and was getting rid of processing machines. We need to stop any changes at a time when our mail service is a lifeline for all citizens. They need the resources.”
Perkins also said he fears that the post office’s problems will prevent all votes from being counted in the Nov. 3 election.
“We need the postal service more than ever,” he said.
Louisiana’s vote-by-mail rules for November are uncertain after two legislative committees this past week approved a plan by Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, but Gov. John Bel Edwards rejected it. Both the Republican-controlled Legislature and the Democratic governor have to approve the plan.
Edwards said Ardoin and legislative Republicans should renew the plan they approved for this summer’s special elections that created more circumstances where voters could request an absentee ballot. The latest plan offered by Ardoin and that legislative Republicans favor would expand absentee voting only for people who have tested positive for the coronavirus.