Rep. Carolyn Maloney on Saving the Postal Service and Delivering For America
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Louis de joy has financial holdings and post office contractors and competitors and has been sabotaging the post offices ability to sort and deliver mail in a timely fashion. I've asked New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney here to talk about it. Caroline is the chairwoman of the House. Committee, which has jurisdiction over the post office. Is a champion for the rights amendment and my good friend. President trump is not backing down from his feud with United States. Postal Service he's now installing the well known loyalist enact his vision was to joy. We'll take over the agency in mid June joys a fundraiser for the Republican National Convention she lays in your mail or no bail at all you're not the only one people are asking what's the holdup after waiting days or even weeks To See packages delivered tonight, a backlog of undelivered mail is piling up in post offices around the country. Now, with widespread use of mail in ballots expected in November, because of the coronavirus workers are blaming the new postmaster general president trump fending off accusations that he's trying to sabotage the US. Postal Service saying he has never encourage the postmaster general to slow down male admitted on national television. That, he was blocking the twenty five billion in order to Hobble Mail in voting not gonNA approve a big bill a bigger bill. And are not going to have to three and a half billion dollars for the universal mail in votes. How can you have those votes? My name is congresswoman, Carolyn Maloney and I'm fighting to save the Postal Service. Sorry, not sorry. Congresswoman Maloney I want to dive right in about the postal service. It appears that the new head of the Postal Service Lewis the joy is making some pretty drastic changes at the service immediately before an election where many people will want to vote by mail Dudakovic can you just give us a rundown of exactly what's happening here I tell you it's a challenge for. All of us, we have to stop his disgraceful actions that slow down the delivery of mail in every major category from either six percent to ten percent, and it was because of his actions. Since he took over the job I gotTA. Tell you Elissa if it was a CEO in any other company, they would have been out the door by now but I am getting. Reports across the country about this slowdown I put in a bill to reverse is actions to stop the removal of the sorting machines that consort thirty thousand pieces of mail in one hour. But he's junkie now throwing them in closets. We've seen them thrown out into the garbage cans put into closets. We want the sorting machines back. He's been taking out mailboxes they have. been slowing down the delivery. The amount of times that a truck can leave a sorting plant to go to the delivery plants and we were alerted from veterans seniors. They weren't getting their medications, their mail their business interests are their letters from their children or grandchildren. So it was an absolute disaster personify Speaker Pelosi. Called emergency almost unheard of meeting of the Congress to come. Back on Saturday to pass legislation which we did with bipartisan support Twenty Six republicans voted for it even though they told me, their leadership was really meeting up on them and telling them not to, but they had to pull their rural communities for the constituents that they cared about, and so that happened. Then we had a hearing on Monday there was a hearing on. Friday in the Senate where he said there was problem it was just a dip in service but then we got this internal report from the postal service that showed these documented with clear data, the slowdowns, and now was hurting people across the country at our here he confronted with the internal documents. He did admit that it wasn't a dip in service, but it was massive. It was across this country and it was hurting people. So his actions caused this we are trying to reverse it and you framed it right it's right before a very consequential election but equally important it's in the worst pandemic and you know about it firsthand that many many people are coping with the problems of the pandemic, the problems of the onus and now on. Top of it they have a real scandal I would say and crisis with the delivery of their mail. It's unheard of and I'll just say that it's in our constitution. It's a pillar of our democracy. Postal Service should be there for everyone in this country together, and I see it as political manipulation by the trump administration and the postal service and it's got to stop. The Postal Service is a critical component of America's infrastructure. It provides a lifeline. Of. Medication, supplies and mail for all Americans every where they live especially in this time of Ne-. It's really unbelievable. You mentioned the Constitution and you chair the House Oversight Committee, can you tell me what role that committee has in regard to the postal service and the Postmaster General? The oversight committee is a very important committee because it is the investigators we investigate waste fraud and abuse and harm in our country such as deliberately messing with the post office. It also has jurisdiction over the post offices in our jurisdiction and we. Are One of the few committees that has subpoena power and I am working as we speak on subpoenas for the documents for this and how it happened to joy said that he had an analysis that this would speed up the delivery of mail and help and it would not slow down the male. Well, I want to see this analysis. If it said, it wouldn't cause a problem than it was total incompetence and if the. Analysis was that it would slow down the mail. Then it's absolutely criminal in my opinion, I wanNA, know how were you selected in the first place? He's already under an idea investigation for conflict of interest for mishandling his financial dealings he has invested deeply in the competitors of the post office there has been an effort of very ill advised run by some Republicans to privatize the Post Office which I think a terrible decision and. Would really hurt hard to reach people in rural areas their cost of we go up dramatically now, one of the great values of the post office whoever you are, you have a postal stamp, fifty, five cents that document that envelope that piece of mail can go anywhere in the country three blocks or three thousand Alaska offer the same fifty five cents that allows us to stay connected to our families, our friends as a nation. If you haven't heard about anchor. Let me tell you a little bit about it. It is the easiest way to make a podcast. I've just joined and I can't tell you how much I love it, and here's a few reasons why It's free. It's super easy to create and record podcasts right from your computer literally, anyone can do it. Anchor handles all of the distribution. All you have to do is record or upload your podcast, and then they send it out to spotify and apple podcasts and everywhere else and get this anchor can help you get paid for podcasting without any minimum listener number. Everything you need to make your podcast is in one place at anchor, download the free anchor at or go to anchor DOT FM to get started. The Joy told your committee and the public in general that certain activities like the removal of mailboxes and sorting machines would stop until after the election. The US Postal Service is discarding hundreds of high speed mail sorting machines from processing facilities months before the demand for mail in ballots is expected to surge. It's disheartening to all of us. It's difficult for us to do our job and do it efficiently and the way that we want to do it when we continually have these barriers put up in front of us it's also removing some of its iconic blue mailboxes from streets across the country concern is rising for the cash-strapped Federal Agency. The president has railed against it and postal unions. Fear Mail is intentionally being slow. News reports seem to indicate that these activities continued especially in swing states and democratic precincts. Did He lied to the committee? Does he think that we're all dumb is there some other explanation what is happening? Well, we're getting those same reports to and we have to verify them trust in verifies they say, but he says, he stopped it at least that's one step forward. He said that he will stop the directive on over time so that people can receive overtime during the mail in ballot period, which is very important and he. Made a number of concessions but he did not say that it would put Humpty dumpty back together again. So we have sorting machines as I said that can move a phenomenal amount of male quickly, it would take many many people do that type of work and they're understaffed at the post office. They've lost roughly seventy lives and I've been reported that forty thousand had been quarantined are sick with covet as they interact as essential workers on the front line. So we're trying to get information we're trying to subpoena some of this. Information but another tack on our part for the public is to get it reinstated turn on the sorting machines help the people the postal workers process the male timely fashion and we known soon, there will be an onslaught of mail in ballots because people do not feel comfortable going to the polls we have many options in new. York. Where I'm from, we can have an absentee mail inbound we can go and do early voting are we can vote on election day I am urging everyone to vote at least two weeks before. The election so that the postal workers have time to process that male and get that vote counted vote early and get your book counted. So I'm urging everyone to do that joy and has financial ties, postal service contractors and competitors. It clearly doesn't serve the American people right but is this conflict of interest legal? Well, their suits about it. I know that New York's Ag has filed suit over and other agee's across the nation are taking the battle to court, but sometimes the courts moves slowly. So I feel that the American people. These. Senate to pass my delivering for America Act, which would hope by law the removal of any of these services for the people but I am going to be working to get them reinstated either through the Board of governors through legislation so that we can get these services back in place for people. It's just outrageous all of the issues that we have. To fight, for example, covet what a terrible challenge everybody in America's working for answers and we don't have the answer. We don't have the vaccine we don't even have the treatment. We really don't even understand why it affects so many different people in different ways. That's one example that we don't have an answer to the post office we had the answer funded. Earlier this year, the postal service asked Congress to health. They asked us for twenty five billion in critical assistance. To help navigate through this crisis just like all these other industries did businesses and into sees who received federal funds from Congress. This was not a democratic request it came from the postal service. In. Response to this request, the House acted the House said yes. We acted swiftly to help the postal service we voted to include twenty, five billion and the Heroes Act, and we passed it on May Fifteenth. Unfortunately the president would not agree. And the request has languished for more than three. Months. Their own Board of Governors said funded at twenty, five billion. That just makes up how much they've lost during this Kobe crisis and my bill delivering for America calls for the funding and also reversing all of these terrible steps that he's taken to slow down. The male just makes me crazy. We have the answer we just need a government the listens to the American people and I think the American people should reach out to their senators and especially leader mccollum say. The delivering for America Act and passed the funding for the post office. Let's talk about your own recent. It didn't have declared winner for about a month because of the number of Alan ballots that were received I mean that's terrifying. Prospect of more Americans voting from home this fall new concern that election day could stretch well beyond November third as the corona virus states scrambling to offer safe alternatives to voting at the polls. Many are now expanding absent or mail-in voting options if there's strong absentee ballot. Preference this time, it may be election. If recent primaries are any indication, final results could be delayed. What effect on the November election can we expect to see because of Dha his shenanigans? It is a wakeup call that the board of elections and the post office have to be staffed and ready for an influx of considerable male. Just to give an example, my election on election day thirty, five, thousand people and I won on election day it didn't win to sixty, five, thousand roughly mail in ballots each. Of which had to be opened as you know I represent three boroughs. So the counting process had to go not only from Manhattan but to Brooklyn into Queens and they weren't just county my race, they were counting the entire city of New York. So I was lumped in with the entire city of New York. They did not end counting the entire city of New York including me until six weeks after the. Election, but the way you address this is that you fund the postal, service you certainly keep the mailboxes in place you have the sorting machines and you're moving the male. I do feel like there is a lot of concern also about the fact, especially from the advocacy groups and the activists where we are trusted to put out correct information it is so difficult to put out information when every single state has. Different rules and regulations on what needs to happen as far as absentee ballots. Mellon votes whether you're not. You need an ID when you show up to vote and it feels as though we are all scrambling and we're what twenty days before early voting begins and I just wish this. All wasn't such an afterthought and that we could figure out a way to get information to the American people so that they. Know exactly what they need and what they need to do in order to vote and have their vote counted and I also feel like it's done this way because they wanna scare people away from voting they want this to be complicated. They meaning the GOP wants this to be complicated. It's their way of ensuring that we can't get the information out. It's another way for them to suppress the vote and. It feels like something. So important like the post office something. So essential to how our country works that people just need to be held accountable for this mess that they've put us in. Is there anything to that effect in the works? What can we expect from Congress? What are we gonNA do fix this well, I we passed my bill which funded the post office and reverse the terrible procedures that they put. In place that slowdown male we need to pass that in the Senate we try to educate the public. Now, the president has taken the really strange position of being against mail in ballots and calling them fraud and this that and the other, and even though he votes by mail in ballot, he and his wife both by mail and many people vote by mail, in fact, twelve states of by mail and have. For a long time. So it's not anything New New York state now said everybody in vote by mail and have an absentee ballot it used to be. You had to have an excuse a major excuse. Now, the fact you have covered concerns, crisis concerns, everyone vote by mail in ballot, and we had a huge influx of ballots but all I can say everybody should vote either vote in person many states now. I voted early voting and when I went, there was hardly anyone there wasn't any of the social distancing challenges thin. Always you have this mail in vote also as one way to make your vote count the main thing is to remember to vote and vote early so that your mailing vote is counted and if you're going to go to the polls I, think it's super super important to. Remember that you might be there for a long time and you should just prepare for that because they're our poll workers shortages this election cycle, which is because most poll workers are in their seventies and they're afraid to come out work pulls when there's a pandemic and I don't blame them. So we also need young people to volunteer actually you get paid to be a poll worker and You gotTa Pull Heroes Dot Org. If anyone is interested, young healthy or anyone that actually has the antibodies, it would be so great. It would be such a great civic duty to go and work the polls I agree. We should reach out to our constituents especially in young people and try to get them to come in and work the polls because we need them really do so here's. A hypothetical for you? What happens if on November Fourth Donald Trump declares victory because in person voting favored. Republicans. Because he's convinced everyone that they shouldn't have to socially distance they shouldn't have to wear masks. They don't need to be afraid of this pandemic while mailed ballots are still being received in counted. He can say whatever he wants. He always says whatever he wants, but it's not the truth. Not, be, decided until every ballot is counted. New Policies at the US Postal Service are causing backlogs and Workers Warren mail-in ballots for November's election could be impacted. Some of the policies include banning overtime pay and shutting down sorting machines. Early, Postmaster General Louis Joy says he implemented them to cut cost joys. A supporter of president trump was donated millions to GOP. Every ballot has to be counted and we'll be counted and hopefully they will be better prepared and the sorting machines will have help move the mail quickly. And people have been able to do it. It is a challenge. It's a huge challenge as I said New York state passed a number of bills to sort of ease educate the public about how vote by mail and I assume states to insane thing. But some people estimate that seventy five percent of the people about by mail. So it's going to be a huge influx. So we have to be ready for that, and hopefully the mail system will move more quickly through the system and at the border elections will be able to process it more quickly I'm sure that they are working on ways to speed up the process. Do you think that digital is purposely sabotaging the expediency of male and the processing of mail to help Donald Trump when the election I think that he is definitely sabotaging the mail system. Why would anyone come in with harmful directives slow down the mail that's what is directives debt by all accounts slugged down the mail and it was massive it was across. This country in every state and is hurting people we are in the midst of trying to reverse that and I passed legislation. That does that all of your listening public should urge their senators to pass that legislation and protect the postal service. I do believe it is an act to sabotage the post office into by doing you are hurting the effort by. To vote by mail I would say that a lot of the statements particularly by the president are done to really cast doubts on mail ballots. There's been no proof of any type of illegal or stealing votes or any of that that he always tries to put out where's the proof he had this group come in and look at the last election was supposed to find all the straw they never found any fraud. And it's very troubling to me because one of our sacred parts of our democracy is our power to vote you and I have worked so hard carrying on the work of the suffragettes to ratify the rights of admit, we just opened up a beautiful statue on Women's Equality Day so that it was beautiful honoring our founding mothers who work to empower women they believed out of the vote would come all other power and our next goal was to. Be in the constitution. So so many people gave their lives for our right to vote. Everyone should use that vote honor that vote and vote early to make sure that your vote counts and that it doesn't get swept into a massive amount of mail that the board of elections is trying to process it last minute and everyone should call their senators and ask for a vote on the delivering for America Act. My concern is this he has already sort. Of foreshadowed that he might contest the election results in interviews that he's done. He's just putting that out there. He's plane on sand. Will I don't know we'll have to see I. think we need to be prepared for that. We need to have those discussions as he's foreshadowing it. We need to foreshadow what our plans will be if that is true. So what is the plan? If he says you know what? This was an illegitimate election and I'm? Not. Going anywhere. Do we have a plan first of all I hope and believe that Joe Biden will win on election day that people will go to the ballots I intend to vote in person I'm GONNA early because they'll be no lines I urge everyone to vote early in your state if you have that opportunity and I hope and I believe that there will be more people voting for I'm calling him present by, but it's Vice President Biden and. Then on election day, he's a clear winner. It would help to have a landslide victory so that there is no question that he is the clear winner that day and whatever mail comes in afterwards. But we our assistant, our election professionals will work very hard to process and camp every single a legal. She's a male. You know when they say some ballots disqualified a duke just qualify if they voted by mail twice or three times they disqualify if. They are not registered to vote they disqualifying if they are not on our voting rolls in maybe a visitor trying to vote. So they are disqualified for a number of reasons that are set by the state. So people who are unhappy with disqualified votes they should go to their state legislature and say, thank everyone should be able to vote whether they're citizens or not just visiting you shouldn't have to sign whatever their criteria is. That's where the fight has. To be to change that but we do need to make sure that they are legal ducks and balanced votes in. That's the systems working on but the system can't work on if they don't get it stamped and move through the postal service assigned that's what I'm working on to make sure that leg works for the American people is fully funded and they're serve them not only with their mail in ballots heart of it, but they deserve the full. Attention and support of the post office every single day to get their mail to conduct their business to send cards to their grandchildren to get their medications. It's astonishing number of people who get their medications now my parents so I know, yeah every veteran gets all of their medications through the mail. So it's an absolute critical service for the American people and on top of it, we have an important election and mail in ballots have to be treated properly. It's a large vast array of services that they provided mail in ballots are part of it, but it needs to be funded for all of these other reasons to Carolyn, Maloney Congresswoman Maloney what a champion for your constituents. Thank you for everything you do and everyone who's listening. Please call your senator tell them to support the delivering. For America Act. We have got to solve this in time to hold an election where everyone can participate safely. Thank you congresswoman. New. Policies if the US Postal Service are causing backlogs and workers worn mail in ballots for November's election could be impacted. Some of the policies include banning overtime pay shutting down sorting machines early. Postmaster General to joy says he implemented them to cut cost joys. A supporter of president trump was donated millions to the GOP. Neither Snow Nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. From. Herodotus is chiseled above the entrance to the Assad of a Manhattan Post Office. Well, somebody better call a sculptor because they need to add but a corrupt president and postmaster general sure can and it sucks. There is almost nothing more fundamental to our nation than the ability to receive goods and services through the mail, and now in time of national crisis, the postal service should be a safe way for each of us to make sure our votes received counted and hopefully used to get rid of this nightmare of administration. But we can't promise that. So here's what we can do, and here's what we should do if you can vote early and it's safe to do. So please hand deliver your ballot to local collection center often will be at your town or City Hall but look at Your town's website to confirm or make use of the early voting days your state allows and go and vote in person ahead of Election Day. If you can't safely deliver your vote and person that's when you mail it. Make sure you fill it out on the day you receive it and send it back immediately. Don't wait until the last minute or your vote might never count. Listen trump is trying to cheat his way to a second term and there is nothing he won't destroy to get there and we cannot let him do it. We just can't. So it's GonNa take a little more vigilant. And awareness on our part. We're going to have to work a little harder, but we will and we are going to win. Sorry not sorry executive produced by Alyssa Milano. That's mean. Our associate producer has been Jackson editing and engineering by Natasha's jakup's and music by Josh Cooke a Leash Eagle and Milo bully Ari asked my boy please subscribe on spotify I tunes or wherever you get your podcasts and if you like the show please rate review and spread the word. Sorry not sorry.