In an interview with Fox Business Network’s Mornings with Maria Thursday, President Donald Trump said he is holding up coronavirus aid to block any money to facilitate mail-in voting.
Trump said: “If we don't make the deal, that means they can't have the money, that means they can't have universal mail-in voting."
Trump said he would resist Democrats’ calls for more funding for the struggling U.S. Postal Service and to shore up election infrastructure in negotiations over the next coronavirus relief package.
(President Trump): "So therefore they can't do it, I guess, right? Are they going to do even though they don't have the money?"
Trump said Democrats want $25 billion dollars to go the U.S. Postal Service and 3.5 billion dollars for mail-in voting.
The Republican president has been railing against mail-in ballots for months as a possible source of fraud although there is little evidence for that and millions of Americans have used the post office to cast absentee ballots for years.
The ability to vote without going to a polling place is especially important this year as Americans look for ways to vote amid a pandemic that has killed more than 165,000 Americans.
Democrats have cried foul, accusing Trump and his party of trying to make it harder for Americans to vote, as opinion polls show him trailing his Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.
(U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi): "At a time of a pandemic, you would think they would have a little sensitivity."
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday blasted Trump for trying to undermine mail-in voting:
"The Post Office is election central in this election. Maybe the president thinks that too and that's why he wants to shut it down."
Union officials at the U.S. Postal Service say recent changes have led to major mail delays, with delays being reported in at least 19 states, according to media reports.
New Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Trump donor, has ordered operational changes and a clampdown on overtime in a bid to fix the financially troubled Postal Service that reported a net loss of $2.2 billion dollars in the last quarter.