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Rhode Island lawmakers stand up for US Postal Service

August 18, 2020 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s congressional delegation on Tuesday urged the Trump administration to stop what they called the “sabotage” of the U.S. Postal Service that some critics have said will slow the handling of mail-in ballots in the midst of a pandemic during the November presidential election.

“We’re here to ask the Trump administration to knock it off. They have created enough turmoil, they’ve created enough anxiety, they have exhibited enough incompetence. At least leave our Postal Service alone,” U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said outside the main post office in Providence.

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He was joined by fellow Democrats U.S. Sen. Jack Reed and U.S. Reps. David Cicilline and Jim Langevin.

“This self-manufactured crisis and intentional delays in service for political reasons are unacceptable,” Reed said. “But they’re particularly outrageous when you have the situation of a pandemic that has claimed 170,000 lives or more.”

The service has curtailing worker overtime, and removing mailboxes and mail-sorting machines.

Republican President Donald Trump has denied any effort to slow the mail.

After Tuesday’s news conference in Providence, the Postmaster General announced that he is halting some operational changes to mail delivery until after the election “to avoid even the appearance of impact on election mail.”