WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn delivered the following remarks today on the Floor in advance of the U.S. House of Representatives’ vote on the Delivering for America Act in support of protecting the U.S. Postal Service:

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As Prepared for Delivery

“Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 8015, the Delivering for America Act.  This legislation is vital to protecting the United States Postal Service.  I maintain that the post office is the thread that holds the fabric of our great country together.  The postal service existed before our nation’s Constitution as the lifeline that connected far-flung communities.  The founders believed so strongly in the importance of the post office that they enshrined it in our Constitution.

“The post office provides a critical public service that we cannot allow to become a political pawn of this dysfunctional, destructive and, I daresay, disastrous Administration. This Administration has demonstrated time and again why government should not be run like a business.  Businesses exist to make profits. The post office and the whole of our government exist to provide services. That is why it is called the postal service and not the postal corporation.

“Today we are acting to reinforce our postal service system, which provides vital services like delivering medications, Social Security benefits, income and tax payments, veterans benefits, census forms, and absentee ballots to all American communities, however remote they may be.

“Americans’ dependence on the postal service has dramatically increased during this pandemic as we have watched the on-time delivery of mail decrease significantly.  This legislation provides the $25 billion in emergency COVID funding to the postal service that was unanimously requested by the bipartisan Postal Board of Governors.

“It also prohibits, and even rolls back, changes made by the post office since January 1st of this year.  That prohibition lasts through January 2021 or until the end of the pandemic, whichever is later. That means:

  • No post office can be closed, consolidated or reduce hours,
  • No prohibition or restriction of overtime pay,
  • No changes that will delay mail delivery or increase the volume of undelivered mail,
  • And, no removal of post office infrastructure, like sorting machines or mailboxes.

“This legislation protects the integrity of our democracy by requiring that all election mail be treated as first-class, which means ballots must be postmarked, processed and cleared on the same day they are received. We cannot allow the post office to be used as a tool to disenfranchise voters.

“Finally, we want to ensure that the post office can meet the increased demand for voting by mail during this pandemic that is necessary to protect the health and well-being of our citizens.  If we cut this essential thread, the fabric of our country unravels.  That is not a partisan or political statement.  It is a Constitutionally recognized truth.

“I yield back the balance of my time.”