New Mexico's congressional delegation backs plan to provide USPS with $25 billion ahead of election

By:  Patrick Hayes

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation announced Tuesday their plan to help save the post office.

On Saturday, the U.S. House will vote to give the U.S. Postal Service $25 billion. The money would be sued to cover some financial shortfalls to ensure there are no operational changes ahead of the election.

"New Mexicans look to the Postal Service to get their medications on time, to receive their social security checks, to vote, to connect with family and run their own businesses," Rep. Deb Haaland said. 

Democrats are concerned with changes made by the Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, which include banning overtime and removing machines used to sort mail. 

The union president of postal clerks in Albuquerque said one machine was already removed, and three others are scheduled to be taken out of commission.

Following public backlash, DeJoy announced Tuesday that the Postal Service would stop implementing changes until after the election. However, he did not say whether any of the changes would be reversed. 

"For months, House Democrats have been working to provide the USPS with resources it needs to continue delivering mail on time and prepare for the increased mail demands ahead of the 2020 election," Rep. Ben Ray Lujan claimed Tuesday.

Rep. Xochitl Torres Small said the $25 billion plan has bipartisan support. But she said she wants to make sure the USPS is operational past November.

Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich say they’re committed to holding the president accountable.

The Republican Party of New Mexico defended the president's actions pertaining to the Postal Service:

The President is seeking the best way to ensure the postal system is run effectively and efficiency. As a former member of Congress, I’ve seen past Democratic and Republican Administrations try to reform the Postal Service which has been mismanaged for a long time. What’s been happening here lately is just a political stunt by the Democrats, who know that the USPS has had deep problems. The President has raised concerns about vote-by-mail procedures because this universal mail-in method is susceptible to fraud.

 Marg Elliston, chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico sent KOB 4 the following statement:

“We’re expecting absentee voting to hit record highs this year, and it’s deeply concerning that Republicans are not committed to fully funding the USPS ahead of this increased strain on the system. Instead of blaming hardworking postal service workers, the GOP should recognize how Donald Trump’s actions have undermined the postal service’s infrastructure and support efforts to ensure that every New Mexican can get their ballot on time.”