Groups rally to save the postal service as House passes funding for USPS

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a legislative package on Saturday that would provide $25 billion in funding for the U.S. Postal Service while banning any changes within the postal service before the election.

The vote comes as the White House has threatened a presidential veto for the bill and activists around the country are showing their support for the USPS.

A rally along Lexington Avenue in Eagan, near a post office branch, was one of hundreds held across the country as part of a nationwide effort to save the postal service.

"We need things restored," said Caren Gallagher. "We need more support during a pandemic and probably the largest mail-in voting the country has seen. Not less.”

Saturday’s rally drew dozens who believe, under the leadership of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, the recent changes made are an attempt to privatize the postal service and scare people out of voting.

"Voting is the backbone to our democracy," said Tom Edwards, the former president for the St. Paul American Postal Workers Union. "If you take away the ability to vote, you start to kill democracy."

On Friday, DeJoy assured senators and the public that the USPS will be able to handle election mail this fall – even as cost-cutting measures have been taken.

"The postal service is fully capable and committed to delivering the nation's election mail securely and on time," said DeJoy.

However, the reassurance didn't stop Democratic lawmakers in the House from pushing ahead with the vote on the $25 billion aid package. They say the funding is necessary to help boost funding and avoid delays.

The White House threatened to veto saying: "USPS does not need a 25 billion dollar bailout. It needs reforms that will return it to a trend of long-term financial self-sufficiency."

And while many Republicans agree, activists on Saturday feel their constitutional rights are being threatened.

"We live in a democracy and we need to do everything we can to preserve that," said Gallagher. "I think that is a primary motivation for people to be out here is to protect our democracy."

On Friday, DeJoy said that all operational changes will be suspended until after the 2020 elections.

In the meantime, the USPS has created a website for those looking for voting information.