Saving the U.S. Postal Service, Standing Up Against Hate, and Holding the Trump Administration Accountable
I am writing to you after another busy week both in Washington, DC and here at home in NYC. President Trump’s latest attacks on mail-in voting for November are blatantly undermining our democracy, and I am continuing to lead my colleagues in fighting to make sure Americans can exercise their fundamental right to vote by ensuring the U.S. Postal Service has the resources and support needed for effective and efficient operations. In my commitment to save the USPS, I introduced the “Delivering for America Act” and visited the Morgan Postal and Processing Facility. On the Upper East Side, my friend, Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright’s office was defaced with anti-Semitic symbols and note. Hatred of any kind has no place in NYC, and I was proud to stand by her side, along with community leaders, to speak out against hate. I also joined with small businesses in Williamsburg and Greenpoint to discuss the challenges their businesses faced during COVID-19.
More on these and other updates below.
Saving USPS, “Delivering for America Act,” and Holding the Trump Administration Accountable
Last week, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced that the U.S. Postal Service will be making operational changes, which will degrade its operations and structure. These changes were announced without sufficient consultation with experts or Members of Congress and are inappropriate this close to the Presidential election, especially since we are in a pandemic and expect a historic number of Americans to vote by mail.
The overtly partisan Postmaster General is just another example of the President’s attempt to prevent millions of Americans from having their votes counted. The House recently passed my amendment to prevent the U.S.P.S. from making these significant changes to its operations, and now the Senate must swiftly do the same.
As ever I am committed to saving the U.S. Postal Service, and this week, I introduced the “Delivering for America Act.” The Act will prevent the U.S. Postal Service from implementing any operational changes or level of service it had in place on January 1, 2020, until the COVID-19 pandemic has ended. This legislation will maintain current service standards as well as the integrity of our elections and bedrock democratic principles.
On Wednesday, I visited the U.S. Postal Service Morgan Processing and Distribution Center to tour the facility and speak with employees. I am deeply grateful to the U.S. Postal Service management, as well as members from NPMHU Local 300 who joined me to tour the facility and gave me insight on the matters they are facing. That evening, I joined leader Pelosi and 173 of our colleagues in Congress urging Postmaster General DeJoy to reverse the policies that have worsened the crisis facing the Postal Service and exacerbated a dramatic increase in delayed and undelivered mail.
On September 17, 2020, I will hold a hearing with the Postmaster General, scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. A livestream will be available on the Committee website.
The full letter from Leader Pelosi and me can be read here:
Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Condemning anti-Semitism
Early Wednesday morning, I was dismayed to learn that my friend, Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright’s, office was defaced with anti-Semitic symbols. Unfortunately, this incident is part of an alarming spike of hate crimes and rhetoric throughout New York City and our nation. ‘One more incident’ is one incident too many, which is why I have made fighting hatred and anti-Semitism a personal mission. In May, the Senate passed my bill H.R. 943, the Never Again Education Act, to support Holocaust education in all schools across this country. The next generation of leaders must learn the horrific consequences of anti-Semitism, bigotry and hate.
I was proud to stand with members of the community on Wednesday to send a powerful message that anti-Semitism is not welcome in New York City.
Meeting with Small Businesses in Williamsburg/Greenpoint
Yesterday, I met with Row House, Bar Method, Bagel Point, and Slick Willie Table & Bar to respond to concerns and put forth my efforts to pass relief and aid to small businesses, and its employees, in the COVID-19 stimulus packages.
Small businesses, and its employees, were dealt a tragic hand during COVID-19. I look forward to working with them further and bringing their concerns back to D.C. as we negotiate another round of COVID-19 relief. I was proud to be a part of the important negotiations for the CARES and HEROES Acts, which provided much needed aid to small businesses and their hardworking employees. The pandemic has had a sustained impact on small businesses and the recent expiration of the $600 in additional unemployment benefits has made the situation increasingly difficult. It is clear that we have a lot more work to do to rebuild and make owning and working at a small business - not only feasible – but sustainable. Small businesses will face issues including supply chain disruptions, paying rent, and processing PPP applications and EIDL loans well beyond the acute COVID-19 crisis.
I remain committed to fighting to give an additional round of funding to the Paycheck Protection Program, as well as extend the $600 federal unemployment insurance in the Heroes Act. Our city depends on it.
Preserving The Hatch Act
The Hatch Act prevents executive branch and federal government employees from engaging in certain partisan political activities. I requested the U.S. Office of Special Counsel’s (OSC) release an advisory opinion the Hatch Act risks of President Trump giving his convention speech at the White House.
The Office of Special Counsel’s response warned of the legal risks to most White House employees if the President held a campaign event at the White House.
President Trump has ignored the law repeatedly throughout his time in office, surely he can find a way to accept the Republican nomination without putting federal employees in legal jeopardy.
OSC’s full statement can be read here:
Requesting Documentation from OMB
This week, I also called on Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Russell Vought to hand over documentation on the apportionment of money in the remaining weeks of this fiscal year. He has failed to assure House leaders that OMB would not abuse the apportionment process.
The remaining weeks of the fiscal year draw closer, and I am deeply concerned that the Trump Administration’s history of obstruction and lawbreaking will affect OMB’s compliance with the law. The Administration has no present plan to pursue an end-of-year rescissions proposal. OMB gave no assurance that they would release expiring appropriations to agencies for use even as the fiscal year comes to a close—as they are required to do by law.
The full letter can be read here:
The Trump Administration’s decision to shorten the timeline for 2020 Census operations will almost certainly result in an undercount of our most hard-to-count and vulnerable communities.
Census Director Stephen Dillingham has refused to make officials available for transcribed interviews regarding the Trump Administration’s recent efforts to rush the 2020 Census after previously requesting legislation to delay deadlines for operations and reporting due to the coronavirus pandemic.
I called upon him this week to confirm by August 14 whether Census Bureau employees will be interviewed voluntarily or whether the Committee should secure their appearance through compulsory measures.
We cannot and we will not allow Trump to illegally manipulate the Census for his own political and partisan gain. If you haven’t yet, please visit my2020census.gov, call 844-330-2020, or fill out the paper Census you received in the mail today!
The full letter can be read here:
Demanding IG’s Investigation of the Army Corps of Engineer’s Pebble Mine Project
As always, the environment is of deep concern to me and our responsibility to protect it has never been more urgent. I called upon the Inspectors General at the Department of Defense and the U.S. Army to request an investigation into the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Army Corps) environmental review of the Pebble Limited Partnership’s dredge-and-fill permit application for the proposed Pebble Mine project in Bristol Bay, Alaska.
I am concerned that the Army Corps expedited the Clean Water Act permitting and NEPA review process at the expense of a thorough scientific review. The timeline is inappropriate for a hardrock mine of this scale—especially during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
I also urged the EPA Inspector General Sean O'Donnell to request an investigation into the reversal of its Proposed Determination under section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act.
The full letter to the Department of Defense and U.S. Army can be read here.
The full letter to the EPA can be read here.
COVID in NYC
New York State
New York City
Governor Cuomo announced that all school districts across New York State are eligible to open for in-person instruction. Individual districts will determine the balance between virtual and in-person learning. All districts must submit operating plans to the Department of Health for approval. Districts must hold 3-5 public meetings with students’ parents before August 21. More information from the Governor’s office is available here.
As always, your concerns still and always remain my top priority. Please do not hesitate to email me through my website.
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Carolyn B. Maloney
Member of Congress