Postmaster General DeJoy says he will stop USPS changes until after November election
CLOSE President Donald Trump has offered conflicting statements about supplementary funding for the U.S. Postal Service. USA TODAYWASHINGTON – The head of the U.S. Postal Service said he would pause operational changes at the agency until after the November election after lawmakers expressed fear the changes would hinder the collection of mail-in ballots.Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said…
President Donald Trump has offered conflicting statements about supplementary funding for the U.S. Postal Service.
USA TODAYWASHINGTON – The head of the U.S. Postal Service said he would pause operational changes at the agency until after the November election after lawmakers expressed fear the changes would hinder the collection of mail-in ballots.Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said in a statement he had been making changes at the agency to ensure its long-term sustainability, but “to avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded.””The Postal Service is ready today to handle whatever volume of election mail it receives this fall,” he said, adding that “standby resources” would be engaged on Oct. 1 to handle the increased volume of election mail. He said a task force on election mail would also be expanded.DeJoy’s reversal on the changes comes amid increased scrutiny from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle over changes and service cuts at the agency. He is set to testify before the Senate on Friday and the House on Monday, where he will likely face pointed questions from lawmakers. More: Where you can vote by mail, absentee ballot in the 2020 electionMore: Trump’s Postmaster General DeJoy will testify before Senate on Friday about USPS delaysDemocrats slammed the cuts to service they say slowed mail delivery and would have possibly hindered the agency’s ability to handle a surge of mail-in ballots in the November election.Congressional Democrats sent DeJoy a 10-page letter Friday detailing the changes at the Postal Service they feared could delay the mail. Democrats also requested documents and information explaining the changes.Among the shifts in service that worried them was a move to stop treating all election mail as first-class – which could mean a regular delay of up to eight days from prior elections – cutbacks in overtime and a ban on “late” or “extra” delivery trips. An internal Postal Service document cited by the Democrats warned, “One aspect of these changes that may be difficult for employees is that – temporarily – we may see mail left behind or mail on the workroom floor.”The Postal Service warned election officials around the country last Friday that not all ballots may be delivered in time to be counted even if they are requested before state deadlines and mailed back promptly.More: Postal Service warns states: Some absentee, mail-in ballots may not be delivered in time to be countedThe COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many states to allow more people to vote by mail to provide an alternative to in-person voting and reduce crowds on Election Day. President Donald Trump has defended his administration’s management of the agency and has said he opposes additional funding for the Postal Service in spite of his acknowledgement that service delays threatened the November election. Instead, the president has argued the Postal Service has longstanding financial problems and needs to be reformed.Democrats asked for $25 billion in recent coronavirus stimulus talks to help the Postal Service handle the uptick in mail-in ballots. But discussions over aid to help Americans struggling as a result of the virus imploded with no deal. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, however, indicated Republicans are open to passing a bill providing the $25 billion to the Postal Service.”Let’s go ahead and get a stimulus check out to Americans. Let’s make sure that small businesses are protected with an extended PPP program and put the postal funding in there,” Meadows said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We will pass it tomorrow. The president will sign it. And this will all go away,” he said.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called the Democratic-controlled House back early from its recess to vote on legislation Saturday preventing any further changes at the Postal Service.Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, said the suspension of changes was not satisfactory and called on the Postmaster General to reverse the changes. He needs to reverse the changes he did, not just suspend the changes he was planning for USPS.— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) August 18, 2020Speaking alongside congressional Democrats at a news conference outside the Postal Service headquarters in Washington, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters the legislation before the House would include provisions restoring the service and granting $25 billion in funding for the Postal Service.Hoyer told reporters the legislation the House would consider on Saturday would make sure DeJoy could not make further changes.”He should not have done what he’s done to date,” Hoyer said. “And he must reverse any adverse consequences of the actions that have been taken to date.”Hoyer said the postmaster general’s announcement could be linked to the lawsuits filed against the Trump administration. The actions just announced by the Postal Service, he said, were not taken “because they thought they were going to win that suit.” Pelosi said in a statement released later Tuesday DeJoy’s announcement was a “necessary but insufficient first step.” “This pause only halts a limited number of the Postmaster’s changes, does not reverse damage already done, and alone is not enough to ensure voters will not be disenfranchised by the President this fall,” she said. A group of at least 20 Democratic attorneys general said Tuesday they would sue the Trump administration over the changes. Despite the announcement, the attorneys general said they would press forward with the lawsuits. Pennsylvania Attorney General Joshua Shapiro told reporters on a Tuesday conference call, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” And on Monday, Mondaire Jones, the Democratic nominee for U.S. House in New York’s 17th Congressional District, filed a lawsuit Monday alongside 15 other plaintiffs seeking a federal court to force adequate funding for the Postal Service. “The actions of the President and Postmaster General to undermine the USPS are a deliberate assault on our democracy,” Jones said. Contributing; William CummingsRead or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/08/18/election-usps-postmaster-general-says-hes-suspending-mail-changes/5602523002/Find New & Used CarsNew CarsUsed CarsofPowered by Cars.com
Britney Spears Shares ‘Like a Virgin’ Dance With Madonna at Her Wedding
Spears is seen getting close to Madonna for some “Like a Virgin” fun in a new video from her wedding reception. Madonna, with special guest singer Britney Spears, performs during her Sticky and Sweet Tour at Dodger Stadium on November 6, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. Kevin Winter/GI The footage from Britney Spears and Sam…
Spears is seen getting close to Madonna for some “Like a Virgin” fun in a new video from her wedding reception. Madonna, with special guest singer Britney Spears, performs during her Sticky and Sweet Tour at Dodger Stadium on November 6, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. Kevin Winter/GI The footage from Britney Spears and Sam Asghari’s wedding keeps coming. In a new clip shared on social media on Saturday (June 11), Spears gave fans one more glimpse at what it was like to celebrate with her famous friends, courtesy of another clip featuring Madonna. Spears is seen smooching and dancing with her husband, showing off her wedding gown and getting close to Madonna for a little “Like a Virgin” fun in a series of wedding reception videos posted this weekend. Explore See latest videos, charts and news See latest videos, charts and news Spears and Asghari tied the knot on Thursday (June 9), eight months after they announced their engagement. The pair met in 2016 on the set of the singer’s “Slumber Party” video. “LIVING IS GIVING … pssss don’t worry I had my first diamond thong underneath my jacket … hope I didn’t offend anyone,” the pop star captioned the latest post from her wedding celebration, where at some point in the night she’d also recreated her legendary kiss with Madonna from the 2003 MTV VMAs. In another cute video that had already circulated after the nuptials, Spears, Madonna, Paris Hilton, Selena Gomez, Drew Barrymore and Donatella Versace were seen singing along to another Madonna’s classic, “Vogue.” Check out the “Like a Virgin” moment, which happens about 23 seconds into the clip below. Get weekly rundowns straight to your inbox Subscribe
Military abortion options expected to be debated in annual defense bill process
The nationwide debate over abortion will be a key point of contention in the upcoming defense authorization bill process later this month, with a key Democratic lawmaker saying the issue needs to be part of the military readiness discussion.“If readiness is impacted by the fact that women are going to have to travel thousands of…
The nationwide debate over abortion will be a key point of contention in the upcoming defense authorization bill process later this month, with a key Democratic lawmaker saying the issue needs to be part of the military readiness discussion.“If readiness is impacted by the fact that women are going to have to travel thousands of miles when they are in need of an abortion service, then we need to look at that,” Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., and chairwoman of the House Armed Services Committee’s personnel panel, said this week.Committee staff said no specific language regarding military abortion services or access was included in the personnel section of the measure approved on Wednesday. Instead, the language focuses on things like the annual military pay raise and family support provisions.But committee members will be able to offer a wide range of amendments on the issue as part of the full committee mark up on June 22.RELATEDSpeier would not specify what proposals she or her colleagues will offer on the issue, but said that servicemembers should not be treated like “second-class citizens” when it comes to access to health care services.“We need to clarify for service members who are raped, subjected to incest or have situations in which their life is at risk: Where can they actually get an abortion?” she said.Last week, Speier and 81 other Democratic House members unveiled legislation that would allow military medical treatment facilities to provide abortion services to members of the military. Under current law, those procedures are banned except in cases of rape, incest and critical medical need.But supporters say they believe a change is needed in the wake of reports that the Supreme Court later this summer could overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision which legalized abortion across America.RELATEDAt least 26 states — including locations like Texas, with major military bases — have indicated they will outlaw the procedure within days of such a Supreme Court decision. Speier and other democratic lawmakers have said that would leave military members assigned to those locations without medical options if they find themselves in need of an abortion.Separately, numerous lawmakers have asked for defense officials to clarify rules regarding leave time and travel assistance if female troops seek an abortion across state lines. Army officials have said they are looking into the issue.Past committee debates over the availability of abortion services at overseas military bases have provided some contentious moments in the annual defense bill work, with conservative lawmakers firmly against any loosening of the current rules.Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.
Mo Donegal wins pulling away, leads 1-2 finish for Pletcher at Belmont Stakes
NEW YORK: Triple Crown veteran Todd Pletcher had simple advice Saturday for jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. before the Belmont Stakes. “Be patient,” Pletcher said. “I think you have the best last quarter of any horse in the race.” Sometimes, less is Mo. Mo Donegal pulled away down the home stretch and held off filly Nest…
NEW YORK: Triple Crown veteran Todd Pletcher had simple advice Saturday for jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. before the Belmont Stakes. “Be patient,” Pletcher said. “I think you have the best last quarter of any horse in the race.” Sometimes, less is Mo. Mo Donegal pulled away down the home stretch and held off filly Nest to win the Belmont Stakes, giving Pletcher a 1-2 finish and his sixth Triple Crown victory, including four at this track on the outskirts of New York City. “To be honest with you, we were a little confident going into the race today,” Donegal Racing CEO and co-owner Jerry Crawford said. “When he turned for home, I was like, forget about it. I know Todd thought he could get a strong last quarter mile, and he surely did.” Rich Strike, a stunning Kentucky Derby winner at 80-to-1 odds, was sixth. Mo Donegal rounded the 1 1/2-mile distance in 2 minutes, 28.28 seconds, three lengths ahead of Nest — ridden by Ortiz’s brother, Jose. Pletcher, who lives on Long Island, adds another Belmont title following wins with Rags to Riches in 2007, Palace Malice in 2013 and Tapwrit in 2017. Mo Donegal beat an eight-horse field without a clear favorite. We the People, a monster in the mud, opened at 2 to 1 amid a rainy forecast but reached 7 to 2 by race time as showers held off. Mo Donegal entered the gate the betting favorite at 5 to 2. We the People led for much of the race, but Mo Donegal and Ortiz took charge coming out of the final turn. The 3-year-old colt paid $7.20, $3.80 and $3. Nest — who nearly became Pletcher’s second filly to win Belmont after Rags to Riches — paid $5.30 and $4.10. Skippylongstocking was third and returned $5.60 to show. We the People finished fourth. Rich Striker owner Rick Dawson and trainer Eric Reed held the Kentucky Derby winner out of the Preakness with an eye on Belmont, the first healthy horse to skip Pimlico after winning the Triple Crown’s first even since 1985. Reed said the team encouraged jockey Sonny Leon to try pushing Rich Strike from the outside, but the horse kept trying to get back inside — where he made a late charge past 19 horse to win at Churchill Downs. Rich Strike spent much of the race in last place and couldn’t recover. “I think we just made a tactical error,” Reed said. Just like Rich Strike, Mo Donegal was at the back of the pack at the Derby, but the colt didn’t have enough kick at Churchill Downs. He found it Saturday, winning the 154th running of the $1.5 million race. Mo Donegal made a winner out of co-owner Mike Repole, a local entrepreneur known around the track as “Mike from Queens.” Repole also co-owns Nest. “This is New York’s biggest race and to win it here, with my family and friends and 70 people here, this will be a big winner’s circle,” he said. It’s the fourth straight year the Triple Crown contests were won by three different horses, a first for the sport since 1926-29. The race marked a return to form for Belmont itself after the 2020 Stakes were closed to the public due to the pandemic and the 2021 event was limited to 11,238 spectators by virus restrictions. Capacity was capped again, this time at 50,000, because of congestion concerns stemming from the newly built arena next door for the NHL’s New York Islanders. Still, fans crammed into cars on the Long Island Rail Road and breathed life into the 117-year-old track with floral headwear, pastel suits and the unmistakable musk of booze and cigars. The reported attendance of 46,103 fell far short of the grounds record 120,139 set in 2004. Not much of a surprise, given the shaky weather forecast and the lack of a Triple Crown contender. The field was sparse, too. No horse ran all three Triple Crown legs this year, heightening concern that three races in five weeks may be too tight a schedule to keep the horses healthy. Preakness winner Early Voting was sidelined, likely to prepare for the $1.25 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course on Aug. 27. Epicenter, the runner-up at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, also skipped. In the $500,000 Acorn for 3-year-old fillies, Matareya romped to a 6 1/4-length victory. Favorite Echo Zulu scratched at the post on the advice of the track veterinarian. Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Flavien Prat, Matareya ($2.60) ran the mile in 1:35.77, winning for the fifth time in eight career starts. Heavily favored Flightline got off a step slow, overcame an early traffic issue and cruised to a six-length victory in the $1 million Hill ‘N’ Dale Metropolitan Mile. The victory kept the 4-year-old Tapit colt undefeated in four career starts. This was the first one he did not win by double-digit lengths. Flightline ($2.90) was also ridden by Prat and trained by John Sadler.