Party Lines Mostly Hold in Florida Delegation as House Backs Sending $25 Million to Postal Service

Over the weekend, the U.S. House passed U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s, D-NY, “Delivering for America Act” which would send $25 billion to the U.S. Postal Service as the Trump administration and Democrats on Capitol Hill spar over mail-in ballots during the pandemic.

Maloney’s proposal cleared the House on a 257-150 vote as 26 Republicans joined the Democratic majority in passing the measure.

Every Democrat from the Sunshine State voted in favor of the proposal and they were joined by U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla. Other Republicans from the Florida delegation voted against the proposal though Florida Republican U.S. Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, Ross Spano and Greg Steube did not vote.

“The Postal Service is essential to the fabric of our communities, providing North Florida families and all Americans with critical services, including the delivery of life-saving prescriptions, Social Security benefits, paychecks, tax returns and ballots,” said U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla. “Yet, the Trump administration and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy have waged an outrageous campaign to degrade postal operations and delay mail delivery in the middle of a pandemic and just months before a Presidential election. In the name of our democracy and veterans, seniors, families and small businesses who depend on the Post Office, I proudly joined my colleagues to pass the Delivering for America Act to undo the damage and ensure the Postal Service has the resources necessary to fulfill its vital role at this pivotal moment.”

Despite missing the vote, Diaz-Balart stressed his opposition to the bill.

“Unfortunately, I was unable to be in D.C. for the vote on H.R. 8015. However, if I had been present, I would have voted against this bill. First, this legislation allocates $25 billion to the USPS without a single reform tied to it. As an appropriator, I have serious concerns about giving blank checks, especially when the agency is still sitting on a $10 billion loan included in the CARES Act and their $14 billion cash on hand. While I agree that the USPS needs to be on a path of growth, not decline, to allocate billions of dollars without conditions is not only short-sighted but incredibly reckless,” he said.

“I strongly believe in the USPS, and I understand the need to protect this institution, so I welcome the opportunity to work with my colleagues across the aisle on a bipartisan, commonsense solution to address solvency issues while putting them on a path for prosperity—ensuring they remain a staple of our nation for years to come,” Diaz-Balart added.

“Millions of Americans, especially seniors, depend on a healthy and functioning Postal Service,” Buchanan insisted on Saturday. “I voted for the bill today to make sure the Postal Service has the resources to deliver the mail.

“It’s also important that people do not lose confidence in one of our most basic and non-political institutions,” Buchanan added.

The proposal now heads to the GOP controlled U.S. Senate which is not expected to pass it.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

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