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tv   Democratic Lawmakers Hold News Conference on Mail- In Voting  CSPAN  August 18, 2020 2:06pm-2:46pm EDT

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ready for victory. we are not going to be vulnerable in the off year. you are starting to someone my husband. how long are you doing this? -- sound like my husband given how long are you doing this? [laughter] >> i appreciate the questions. thank your for tuning and to the special edition with house speaker, nancy pelosi. thank you to the american institute for sponsoring this conversation. >> we will be back tomorrow morning with tim kaine, the 2016 vice president shall -- vice presidential nominee. we will dig into joe biden's campaign and other issues driving the .20 campaign cycle. have a good day. see you tomorrow morning. announcer: live coverage continues, house members holding
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a news conference on. rations and mail-in voting. we join it in progress. >> when we called our post offices to find out what happened, everybody said, well, these orders have come from above. and all roads lead right here. this headquarters. learned was that dejoy had put measures in that sent down -- that slowed down the mail. they include the removal of sorting machines from post offices. congressman star beans and i were involved yesterday, at the central the submission center, they had for of their machines and had been removed from the post office. that was part of the slowdown.
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as congressman hoyer said, if any of these postal workers had unlawfully delayed or detained the mail, they are committing a violation of the criminal statute. they could be prosecuted. that statute also covers postal officers. and that includes this postmaster general. and i can tell you everybody knows that it is unlawful to interfere with the post office in order to try to cook and fix and disrupt a united states election. masters what this post general was doing the orders of donald trump, who told the country on national television and via twitter that he is interfering with the post office because he doesn't like mail-in ballots.
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and call uponsue the board of governors to remove this postmaster general. as congressman hoyer said, they got caught red-handed. that is what happened here. they got caught red-handed. we just saw the statement of the postmaster general saying he does not plan to make any additional changes. ok. that is good. we need to watch that diligently. but they need to reverse the measures that they have already put in place. and that is why you're going to see hearings in the senate and in the house, and that is why i want to salute steny hoyer and congressman hoyer and the other members of the house, speaker pelosi, for bringing back the house to pass a bill that says very clearly that you cannot make any changes, not a single change, until january 1 of next year at the very earliest. they got caught red-handed.
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the post office is enshrined in the constitution. oath to awore and pulled constitution. we need to hold them do it to make sure that we have the selection. -- uphold the constitution. we need to hold them to what to make sure that we have this election. russians arethe engaging and interference in 2020. we have to worry about foreign interference. we don't need an inside job. our elections. this is what was happening here. we cut them red-handed. now we have to pass legislation to make it absolutely clear that this is unacceptable. now, i will turn it over to the next of my colleagues, senator warner, and thank him for all his efforts. >> thank you to all my colleagues.
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i am a retired postal worker. i will reinforce what has already been said. steny talked about his constituents. i'm sure each member will talk in,t constituents calling they couldn't get the mayor delivered -- the mail delivered, they can get their drugs, their medicines. a 91-year-old mother was waiting candies for her medicine. she was flipping out about when she was going to get it. another individual said he had been notified by his credit card company that he was going to get a late fee, even though he sent his bill in 10 days early. what do all these have in common? they all have in common that they all took place after june 16th, when the new postmaster dejoyl, mr.
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, was appointed. we have called upon the board of governors to remove mr. dejoy and put someone in who has basic confidence -- basic competency. start voting as early as september 19. if they are not able to vote because you have a president of the u.s. that is trying to do everything legal and otherwise to impede mail and or absentee voting -- mail-in voting or absentee voting, and you have efforts to obstruct the election.
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russia and others are back. the last thing we need is more sabotage. final comment, last night, the and wevention came on, fromupon an old movie back in the 90's called "the postman." reminiscent, there had been a pandemic, society was breaking down, and the bad guys were out and around. and you know what was the group that people suddenly saw as a hope that there might be a brighter day? kevin constant became a post man, and was the resurrection of the u.s. postal service. ofwas strange how that film fiction that i haven't to catch last night almost seem to be
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being repeated in 2020. we need to hold this postmaster accountable. mitch mcconnell, bring the senate back to town so we can pass legislation to the house. let me bring up a net weaver, the retired -- a retired -- a e weaver, a retired postal worker. taylor.ame is anette that is all right. first of all, i want to personally thank congressman hoyer. he is my congressman. we consider him steny. we all know who steny is. i was a 32-year employee of the postal service. prior to that, i was in the air force for eight years. job with the postal service right out of the military. i was very proud to get this
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job. i felt it was an essential job that connected the whole united states together. it just was an overwhelming thought that when i put on that uniform, that i was now a representative of the postal service. and i was very proud to be a postal service employee all those ears. -- all those years. i raised my children on a good salary and benefits. and i am here today to tell you about how important the postal service is to the public from a letter carrier's perspective. connectarriers over 160 million people and businesses in the united states. they depend on us to deliver their medications, supplies, especially now in this covert situation, and now, as we grow closer to the election, also, by letting. -- balloting. it is cripple that we have our
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mail process -- it is important that we have our mail process. for 40 years, the postal service has not needed taxpayer funds. we now need taxpayer assistance. we have experienced staggering losses with volume and revenue, like our other businesses -- like all other businesses. we need a bill that would allow ensure the u.s. has funding and support to prevent delays and to continue the essential service that we provide. thank you.
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of votersan poll shows that 92% of voters are for the postal service. it is important to keep at it in mind when we move forward with any actions with the postal service. thank you very much. >> eleanor norton, the congresswoman who represents washington, d.c. >> thank you, leader hoyer. i am here today to focus on one thing, that is the bill that will be discussed monday, called delivering for america act, would keep the postal service from making the changes the new -- haship is already already embarked upon.
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until january 1, 2020. announces that the postal service has already , minutes ago, he says, to postpone any changes in post office operations and levels of service until january 1, 2020. that is exactly what our bill says. i was not going to talk about any part of the act except that it takes time to get an act passed. it looks like what we are seeing all over the country is producing the desired to keep leaving anfice from
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undoubtably scar -- and out of all-star -- undoubtable scar. ae united states held successful election in the middle of a civil war. surely, we can do that again. but the experience from the believe weead us to were headed and may still be headed for a pandemonium of results in the new november elections that may leave lasting uncertainty. wem sure all of us wish that enjoyed the 90% approval rating that the congress of the united says the postal service does.
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and, of course, this new postmaster, louis dejoy, will be appearing on the committee in which i serve on monday. [indiscernible] of ann the midst investigation now. this isnd that being experienced nationwide. so much so, that the speaker of the house has called us back for an emergency session on saturday. on monday, iaring want to give you some notion of what i will be asking the
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postmaster. we have a memorandum that was leaked directing, actually directing and writing writing, directing employees to leave mail behind and distribution centers. and directing against any overtime. i am going to push in an august 7 postal service memo, a memo from the postal service itself, which criticizes the new postmaster's sidelining of 23 executives who have all of the institutional knowledge of the postal service. and instead, centralize everything around the new postmaster, dejoy. i want to know while my district -- why my district here, the district of columbia, and 46 warningsve received
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from the postal service that it cannot guarantee that all mail ballots will arrive in town to be counted. it is going to fall to those of us who have come here this afternoon, the legislative branch, to take the actions necessary to preserve democracy and democratic elections in our country. who is next? my colleague from maryland. thank you very much, congresswoman norton. we know that the post office has
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a 90% approval rating. she told us 92% of americans support funding to make sure that the postal service is strong. so we know that. but have you ever thought about why that is? that is because annettee like anett -- taylor, it is a special bond between the letter carrier and the customer on the frontline. people who come to rely on the post office. they know they can count on them. they trust them. so when you attack the postal service the way louis dejoy has been doing, you are trying to break what is almost -- what has almost become an institution so revered in this country. you are trying to break a sacred bond between the letter carrier and the customer, between the
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postal service and the public. and that is not right. i hear rightou, now in my mind the voice of elijah cummings, and louis dejoy should be counting his blessings. not here for this moment. because i cannot even imagine what he would be doing. he cared for the men and women of the u.s. postal service. he made it a number one commitment of his to try to strengthen the postal service. the workingsttack of the postal service --
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[no audio] cuts against a nation of commitment to their customers. but we are not standing forward. the american public is not standing for it. the emails and the calls we have been getting in our offices have been saying to us, "we have got a problem getting our mail," but more than that, they have been the postalnd up for service, fight back against these changes, honor the people taylor, who have been serving the state in and day out for so many years and building that trusted relationship between the public and this treasured institution, the united states postal service." it is my pleasure to turn it over to congressman, anthony brown, from maryland. >> thank you, john.
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2017,ow, since january of president trump has sought to underfund and undermine the u.s. postal service. primarily, for personal and political reasons. why he would want to do that has been laid bare during this pandemic. , as others have that is a revered institution. it is treasured by the american public. military, ouru.s. public libraries and schools, our fire departments, to the extent that the public appreciates the men and women, the letter carriers of the u.s. postal service.
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when back in march, this country shut down, because of the pandemic, they went out. rain and snow and heat, the gloom and darkness, and even during a pandemic, the men and women of the u.s. postal service did their job. and they do their job everyday. because they understand that on any given day, one in every two americans are going to be touched by what they do. they're going to help small businesses keep their doors open. they are going to help the who not out ofs convenience, but out of necessity, today, during this pandemic, received a prescription drugs through the u.s. postal service to -- their prescription drugs through the u.s. postal system.
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we had one veteran from maryland who called up the v.a., they said it was in the mail, they checked with the u.s. postal service, they don't know where it is. he had to get in his car and drive two hours for his life saving prescription. we encourage our seniors and our ,ilitary, we encourage everyone to perception by mail. -- that once prescriptions by mail. what was once that is now a necessity. it is putting lives at risk.
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they are out there and continue to be up out there. they make essential workers -- they are essential workers. the essential of essential workers. in november, many of us will go vote onolls or will election day, but more and more americans, not because of convenience, but out of necessity, will vote by mail. president trump and his postmaster general, who brought neither the experience or commitment or courage to uphold the mission and support the men and women of the u.s. postal service, is now putting our democracy in jeopardy. ,o we all have a responsibility we are called to return to the house on saturday to pass legislation that funds the post
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office and codifies the reversal of actions that this postmaster general took in june. we cannot count on the whims and capricious conduct of that president and postmaster general to six year our elections -- to secure our elections. here and i call for the resignation of postmaster general dejoy, who was putting our democracy and the health of our citizens at higher risk. with that, i invite my college to the podium. >> good afternoon. hard not to repeat the many wonderful things my colleagues have said about how our offices downtown are overwhelmed with constituent complaints about the mail. but i think even more
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importantly about how all human life, all human connectedness is driven by our relations with other people. and in america, where more people live alone than at any time in our history, more people live alone than anytime in our history, it is mail that can -- that connects of aost important part meal is human connectedness. even as a child, until today, one of the most exciting parts of the day is when the mail comes in the dog races through the house to attack. yes, it is drugs, yes, it is bills.
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on the way over, we heard on the radio that dejoy was backing off on many of the things he planned to do, from the routes, to the overtime, and the like. i thought, all you need to do is get the house majority leader, steny hoyer, to hold a press conference, and everything changes. we are fighting back. generals, members of congress, local leaders in every possible way, to try to reserve the most americans of institutions -- preserve the most american of institutions. the u.s. postal service. which is our connection to each other. our wonderful governor of virginia knows that whatever rumor would come that they would close the postal office somewhere in virginia, all hell would break loose. people realized that is a connection to the rest of the country, the rest of their friends. let's do everything we possibly can to reverse those, not just to make sure every vote is
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counted, but make sure the american system, the american democracy is preserved through our postal service. with that, let me give you the distinct member of congress person -- congresswoman of virginia. >> i was elected to represent the people of virginia's 10th congressional district. while i was horrified at the changes to the postal i do in thesewhat situations, which is i went to my constituents to find out what they thought. so we sent out a brief survey to our list of constituents. up., our email inbox blew in a matter of hours, we heard back from over 3000 constituents who shared their stories. i heard from a woman who was in -- whose 95-year-old father relied on v.a. medicine to arrive in a timely fashion and it had it been. i heard from small business
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owners who cater to rural clients, who can only be served through the united states postal service. and i heard from a mother whose daughter has a complex medical disorder that can only be served by supplements that can't be purchased in stores. , yes, i heard from letter carriers who have worked for the postal service for decades. who for the first time in their careers were told to leave first class mail behind. clearly, louis dejoy has messed with the wrong community. it has obviously touched a nerve, and he got caught red-handed. so i am glad they are backing off making these changes. forgive me for being a little bit skeptical. we are still going to return to washington on saturday. we are still going to pass this legislation. we are still going to send it over to the senate. and if louis dejoy
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and donald trump are serious about protecting the postal service, donald trump will sign it into law when it passes the senate. so this is what we need to do. when he to protect the postal service. i am delighted that you guys are shining a bright spotlight on this. we are going to do it. thank you very much. >> i want to thank all my colleagues and all of you for coming. taylor forhank ms. being here, as well. on behalf of all of us, for all of those who serve our postal system so faithfully, and so energetically, so conscientiously, please, let them know how appreciative we are and how appreciative america is. that is what we are here for. we are here for americans. they want their postal service on the job, keeping them connected. i want to point out to you,
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legislation we will consider on saturday will include provisions that the services be restored. it will also include provisions that will say that all election election boardom to voter or voter to election board shall be considered first-class mail. we have put in the bill that is going to be considered on saturday a sum that we have put in the cares act and in the heroes act. it was dropped. $25 billion. to know,ybody ought thatfunny $5 billion -- $25 billion was requested by trump appointees on the postal board. it was exactly the figure they asked for that they thought they
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needed in order to ensure that the united states postal service theyhe resources to act as are expected to, consistent with the law. we will ensure on saturday, and , would ask senator mcconnell senator mcconnell will pass this. the postal service has decided the are going to do it. , you don'tto you is have to call all senators that, just outline it. see if there is a single senator no, let's cut the postal service, no, let's slow delivery by the postal service, no, let's not ensure that somebody who has a disability, a pre-existing condition, and will be a danger going to the poll, has not only the right to mail their ballot from home, but to have an expectation that it will
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be counted, because it will be delivered on time." we will yield for a couple of questions. >> do you suspect there to be any legislative text changes to the bill on saturday? >> i don't. the reason being, what it essentially says is to do what he has now done. by the way, on tuesday, over 18 ,tates, including maryland etc., would be filing suit on tuesday. while i don't want to be too the action taken minutes ago was taken because they thought they were going to win that suit. questions?
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>> [indiscernible] >> this report is 1000 pages long, twice as long as the mueller report. i would urge every american to read it. conclusions. own unprecedented amounts of russian a myriad of and contacts with individuals affiliated and associated with the term campaign. -- the trump campaign manager what is so disturbing to me -- the trunk campaign. me iss so disturbing to russia, china, and iran are back. but this white house and as majority leader has not allowed the senate to vote on a single
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election security bill. we are better off, because people of the intelligence community work smarter, the fbi is working harder, some social media companies are doing better. ad on a russian plans an , something as simple as offering user to, or misinformation on your political -- ought it out to be to be an obligation of each campaign to tell the fbi. not letrity leader has it come to the floor. it would pass overwhelmingly. >> let me say one additional thing. it is seriousthat
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and must be -- that the threat from without is serious and must be confronted. even more serious is the threat from within. >> [indiscernible] >> chris krebs at dhs has done a good job on the election machinery in terms of improved safety. now, theion we have
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attempt to slow down the mail in themiddle of a pandemic, necessity to use mail-in voting, i think that raises other serious questions about security. making any of that. there's been no evidence of that. what we do need to recognize is that the election machinery is better than it was four years ago. i want to make a suggestion. if you will get the name, address, and telephone number of the individual involved and get it to the member of congress home they represent -- who represent them, or the senior member of the committee oversees the postal department, we will track that down. >> thank you. one more question -- >> one more question. thank you all very much. you are just as hot as we are, i
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guess. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] announcer: there is some news breaking this afternoon regarding the u.s. postal service. the washington post, reporting the postmaster general has announced he is suspending the controversial policies that raised alarms. the post goes on to write, postmaster general, louis dejoy, express the postal service to deliver election mail on-time and within our well-established service standards. retail hours would not be changed, neither mail sorting machines or blue mailboxes would be removed. no mail processing facilities would be closed, and overtime would be available as needed. you can read more at washington louis dejoy will be testifying before congress on u.s. postal service operations during the coronavirus pandemic and the 2020 election. we will hear from him on friday
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before the senate homeland security committee starting at 9:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. monday, he will testify before the house oversight and reform committee. c-span2at live on starting at 10:00 a.m. eastern. you can view both hearings online at or listen live with the free c-span radio app. announcer: our live coverage of the democratic national convention continues tonight, with congresswoman, alexandria ocasio-cortez, former president, bill clinton, and jill biden. live coverage of the democratic national convention, tonight at 9:00 eastern on c-span, live streaming and on demand at or listen with the free c-span radio app. c-span, your unfiltered view of politics.
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announcer: you are watching c-span, your unfiltered view of government. created by america's cable television company as a public service and brought to you today by your television provider. announcer: up next, president trump signed a proclamation to mark the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment. allowing women the right to vote. he also announces his intention to pardon susan b. anthony after signing the proclamation, the president responded to a handful of questions about michelle obama's speech during the first night of the democratic national convention, as well as mail and by letting -- mail-in balloting. this is about half an hour.


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