Lofgren Applauds House Passage of the Delivering for America Act
San Jose, Calif. – Committee on House Administration Chairperson Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) issued the following statement today as the House of Representatives passed H.R. 8015, the Delivering for America Act:
"This upcoming 2020 general election will be like no other we have witnessed. Americans will cast their vote to elect a new government amidst a dangerous pandemic that has devastated countless American families. To date, over 170,000 Americans have died due to COVID-19 and over 5.6 million Americans have been infected. The pandemic has disrupted our health, economy and our way of life, including our democratic traditions. Americans are rightfully worried about how to safely cast their vote this November.
“Public health experts agree that voters will be empowered to protect themselves and their families by having safe voting options, which includes absentee voting. Having the option to vote by mail ensures that voters who cannot vote in person don’t have to choose between their health and their right to vote.
“The engine of voting by mail is the United States Postal Service. In every election, postal workers provide an essential service to our democracy by processing and delivering millions of absentee ballots for domestic, overseas and military voters. This November, several million Americans will depend on the Postal Service to exercise their right to vote.
“But in recent months, new leadership at the Postal Service directed drastic operational policy changes that disrupted mail processing and slowed mail delivery nationwide. The impact of the delays has been harmful to Americans, especially senior citizens, veterans and the sick, who depend on the Postal Service to receive medications, retirement checks and other essentials. Former Postal Service executives, election administrators and voter advocacy groups have warned that ongoing delays in mail services will likely disenfranchise voters that will cast absentee ballots this November.
“The Delivering for America Act will work to restore prompt and reliable mail delivery services to the American people. The bill rolls back the recent disruptive operational changes at the Postal Service and prohibits the Postal Service from implementing any further changes that will delay mail and reduce delivery standards.
“The bill also works to protect access to absentee voting and prevent voter disenfranchisement caused by delayed mail. It does this by ensuring that all election mail, including absentee ballots, will be treated as first-class mail, and will receive a postmark, or other indicia indicating date of receipt. In addition to protecting the absentee voting system, these changes will help maintain trust and confidence in the Postal Service.
“And lastly, the bill will appropriate much needed funding support to the Postal Service in the amount of $25 billion which will help ensure the long-term financial stability of the agency and was requested by the Board of Governors appointed by President Donald Trump.
“As November 3rd nears, and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten American life and health, our duty today, as representatives of the American people, is to safeguard the American people’s right to essential mail services and the right to vote. The Delivering for America Act, if enacted, will put into the place the necessary measures to ensure we fulfill this duty, and so I urge my colleagues to support this critical legislation.”
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