By MATTHEW DALY and LISA MASCARO
WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing a public backlash over mail disruptions, the Trump administration scrambled to respond Monday as the House prepared an emergency vote to halt delivery delays and service changes that Democrats warned could imperil the November election.
The Postal Service said it has stopped removing mailboxes and mail-sorting machines amid an outcry from lawmakers. President Donald Trump flatly denied he was asking for the mail to be delayed even as he leveled fresh criticism on universal ballots and mail-in voting.
“Wouldn’t do that,” Trump told reporters Monday at the White House. “I have encouraged everybody: Speed up the mail, not slow the mail.”
Embattled Postmaster General Louis DeJoy will testify next Monday before Congress, along with the chairman of the Postal Service board of governors.
The Postal Service is among the nation’s oldest and more popular institutions, strained in recent years by declines first-class and business mail, but now hit with new challenges during the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump routinely criticizes its business model, but the financial outlook is far more complex, and includes an unusual requirement to pre-fund retiree health benefits that advocates in Congress want to undo.