WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The 300,000-member National Association of Letter Carriers said on Friday that the union’s executive council had endorsed Democrat Joe Biden for president, warning “the very survival” of the U.S. Postal Service is at stake.
The union criticized Republican President Donald Trump and his administration for refusing “to provide the necessary financial relief that would strengthen the agency during this pandemic.”
Trump’s campaign did not immediately comment.
The union called Biden “a fierce ally and defender” of the Postal Service. The union also said Senator Kamala Harris, Biden’s vice presidential pick, has “staunchly defended maintaining a healthy, financially stable Postal Service.”
Democrats have seized on changes made by new Postmaster Genera Louis DeJoy, a Trump supporter, that they say has led to a dramatic increase in delayed and undelivered mail.
“The President, his cronies and Republicans in Congress continue to wage their all-out assault on the Postal Service and its role in ensuring the integrity of the 2020 election,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said on Friday.
They cited Trump’s comments on Thursday to Fox Business Network opposing funding for the Postal Service.
“They want $25 billion for the post office. Now, they need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump said. “But if they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting because they’re not equipped to have it.”
Pelosi and Schumer said Trump “made plain that he will manipulate the operations of the Post Office to deny eligible voters the ballot in pursuit of his own re-election. The President’s own words confirm: he needs to cheat to win.”
On Friday, Trump said he would support $25 billion for the Postal Service if he won other priorities in a coronavirus relief bill.
(This story was refiled to fix typographical error in headline to make it “at stake” instead of “as stake”)
(Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Jonathan Oatis)