U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse

U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse of Colorado speaks in favor of emergency funding for the U.S. Postal Service on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020.

The rescue bill for the U.S. Postal Service that passed the House in a rare Saturday session had a Colorado stamp on it.

U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, the rising star Democrat from Lafayette, wrote the $25 billion proposal, which he introduced in March as the Protect Our Post Offices Act, before the bailout for the postal service turned into an election-year flashpoint. Democrats are accusing President Trump of withholding aid to the post offices to interfere with mail-ballot elections in November.

Joey Bunch: "[Neguse is] the author of a bill he called 'common sense' to bail out the U.S. Postal Service with a $25 billion lifeline to weather the pandemic. As long as Republicans control the Senate and Donald Trump’s in the White House, however, it has as much chance of becoming law as My Little Pony winning the Triple Crown."

Democrats also aimed to reverse operational changes put in place by Trump donor Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who was appointed in June. Trump said this month he wanted to block emergency funding for the Postal Service because he opposes voting by mail. He previously has said he would have a hard time winning a mail-ballot election because he suspects fraud.

In back-to-back tweets Saturday afternoon, Trump reacted.

"Representatives of the Post Office have repeatedly stated that they DO NOT NEED MONEY, and will not make changes," he posted. "This is all another HOAX by the Democrats to give 25 Billion unneeded dollars for political purposes, without talking about the Universal Mail-In Ballot Scam.... that they are trying to pull off in violation of everything that our Country stands for. Vote NO to the Pelosi/ Schumer money wasting HOAX which is taking place now. Then fight the $51 million unasked for Ballots. Only ABSENTEE BALLOTS are acceptable!"

The bill passed the Democratic-held House passed 257-150 with some support from Republicans, as Neguse ceremoniously presiding over the vote. 

The Delivering for America Act faces an uncertain outcome and a certain White House veto, without a deal.

“The U.S. Postal Service is a pillar of our democracy, enshrined in the Constitution and essential for providing critical services to all Americans," the freshman said in a statement. Now more than ever as our nation faces the once-in-a-century health and economic crisis of COVID-19, millions of Coloradans are relying on USPS for the delivery of prescription medications, Social Security payments, paychecks, Census forms, and ballots, including in the rural and remote areas of our state,” Neguse said in a statement Saturday evening. “The president’s blatant sabotage of USPS is a threat to lives, livelihoods and our American democracy, and we will not stand for it.”

In addition to four minor-party candidates, Neguse faces Republican Charles Winn for a second term in the strongly Democratic district in November.

U.S. Rep. Jason Crow, a Democrat from Aurora, held press events at the Aurora Main Post Office, Gateway Post Office, and Denver Post Office the past week to bring attention to the impact of DeJoy’s policies. He said Saturday his office received more than 1,000 messages from Coloradans concerned about the changes.

“Nothing has been normal this year, including the attacks on the postal service," Crow stated. "(Senate Republican leader) Mitch McConnell says reports of delays are overblown, but that’s probably because he doesn’t rely on the mail for his medicine or benefits like millions of Americans. Maybe they don’t deliver to the ivory tower he’s been living in all these years.”

Crow faces former state Republican Chairman Steve House and two minor party candidates this year.

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