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Larson, Connolly, Courtney: Trump is Disenfranchising Our Troops and Suppressing Votes

August 14, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Reps. John B. Larson (CT-01), Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations Gerry Connolly (VA-11), and Joe Courtney (CT-02) released the following statement on President Trump’s efforts to sabotage the United States Postal Service: 

“President Trump is blocking funding for the United States Postal Service and taking deliberate steps to slow down service, in a blatant attempt to suppress the American people’s right to vote during this pandemic! Not only is this hurtful to all of us in the nation, but it is disenfranchising the one million of our troops on active duty who bravely serve this country. The very people who risk their lives to defend our democracy depend on the postal service to both and contact their loved ones and to vote!  We cannot let this stand, that’s why I will be introducing a bill with Chairman Connolly and Rep. Courtney, and do everything we can to ensure our troops’ and all Americans’ votes will count,” said Larson

“Not only will this harm our troops, but it also will impact nearly the 20 million veterans, and the elderly who rely on the Postal Service to receive their prescription drugs, along Americans receiving their Social Security benefits in the mail, and more! The President is blatantly playing politics and interfering with our elections by hampering with the Postal Service’s obligation during an election, where people will be relying on absentee ballots to vote safely during this pandemic,” Larson continued. 

“The President’s attacks on absentee voting and Postmaster General DeJoy’s attempts to sabotage the USPS is an affront to  our military service members. Our brave men and women overseas protect our democracy every day. The bare minimum we can do is protect their right to vote. I thank Rep. Larson for his steadfast leadership on this issue,” said Connolly.

“We’re depending on the U.S. Postal Service to process more absentee ballots than ever before this November, including from tens of thousands of men and women who are wearing our nation’s uniform overseas," said Courtney. "Now’s not the time to weaken their operations, but this Administration and their new Postmaster General are implementing changes that have resulted in longer wait times, more undelivered mail, and confusion at the USPS at precisely the wrong time. The mismanagement will have a direct impact on our servicemembers abroad who depend on the Post Office to talk to their loved ones and to participate in the same democracy they’re actively defending. This has already been a persistent problem for servicemembers in the past—in 2008, while on a CODEL in Afghanistan, I spoke with a very frustrated soldier from Connecticut who received his mail-in ballot ten days after President Obama was elected. The Administration’s new policy to reclassify voting ballots as ‘bulk mail’ will tack on an extra ten days to delivery for servicemembers such as these. These changes, and several others, are completely unacceptable. That’s why I’m working with my partners Reps. John Larson and Gerry Connolly on a new bill that will make sure we’re doing everything possible to support our U.S. Postal Service, and to ensure that every single American gets their vote counted, whether they’re at home or serving overseas.”