(NBC News) – In an election season like no other, an unlikely battlefield has emerged: The U.S. Postal Service.
President Trump is drawing sharp criticism for admitting he wants to block billions of dollars in funding for the Postal Service in order to limit mail-in voting during the pandemic.
Mr. Trump made the comments Thursday during an interview with Fox Business News. Now he now says he would give Democrats the money they want for the Post Office, if they give him the trimmed-down coronavirus relief bill he wants.
The president claims, without evidence, that vote-by-mail leads to fraud, even as he and the first lady are requesting Florida mail-in ballots.
The Biden campaign accuses President Trump of attempting to sabotage the usps, calling it an “assault on our democracy.”
“Why don’t they want us to vote? Why are they creating obstacles to us voting? Well the answer is because when we vote, things change,” vice presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris says.
The Postal Service is warning a number of states that their deadlines for mail-in ballots may be too tight to process by election day.
The newly-appointed postmaster general, a top Republican donor, has been making cuts that could prove disastrous when post offices are hit with an onslaught of ballots this fall.
Top election officials from several states are vowing they’re ready to meet the demand, and the issue has prompted a rare display of bispartisanship, with lawmakers in both parties vowing to support the Postal Service.
The Senate is in recess until after Labor Day, meaning any coronavirus relief money and the emergency mail funding that could be connected to it won’t be approved for at least another month, with election day quickly closing in.
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