Open Letter to Bill Johnson, Ohio District 6 House

Mr. Johnson, I phoned your office at the end of August to express my concern with the deliberate sabotage of the U.S. Postal Service to influence the outcome of the national election that is underway.

I have included below your entire response. This response is a political spin calculated to blow smoke up my ass. I’ve done a bit of research, which is a thing that engaged citizens will do. I will include a short table of citations after your correspondence.

We have a pandemic raging across our country that has killed nearly 1/4 million of my fellow citizens. Yesterday there were 77,000 new cases of COVID19 reported in this country.

My wife and I intend to risk our lives to go out and vote because our President and frankly YOU have shaken our confidence in the Postal Service and we really want our votes to be counted. There will be hundreds of thousands of Ohio citizens who have the same impulse. They will risk their lives to vote, to end this long nightmare inflicted on our country by this President.

I want you to know that I hold you responsible for every life lost in an election that has intentionally been turned into a super-spreader event as a political tactic calculated to suppress the vote.

Regards,
Bud Houston

September 9, 2020

Dear Mr. Houston,

               Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns about the continuing operation of the United States Postal Service (USPS). It is good to hear from you, and I agree: the USPS plays a critically important role in connecting much of rural America with the rest of the world.

               The USPS’s financial difficulties are well known – it has lost more than $78 billion since 2007, and the General Accounting Office (GAO) describes the USPS’s business model as “not financially sustainable”. The removal of mailboxes is also not new: 14,000 of them were removed during the Obama administration.

               Unfortunately, Democrats have conjured up yet another fake scandal in an attempt to hurt President Trump politically. Speaker Pelosi recently claimed that seniors’ Social Security checks are in jeopardy because of the USPS’s lack of funding. This is false, and she knows it. Seniors have had their checks electronically deposited since Congress changed that policy in 2013. 

               On August 22, Speaker Pelosi held a vote to give the USPS $25 billion more, which passed the House of Representatives. I voted against this bill, that the Senate says it will not consider, because the premise of the bill is false: the USPS is no worse off now than it was a decade ago. In fact, Congress recently gave the USPS the authority to borrow $10 billion in a new coronavirus relief bill that President Trump signed into law. The USPS and the US Department of the Treasury agreed to loan terms and conditions on July 29. In the USPS’s own report issued on June 30, the agency has enough money to make it through at least August 2021.

               Ohioans can be confident in our state’s election process and in the USPS’s ability to handle and process election materials. It’s clear that the USPS can and will handle any increase in absentee and mail-in voting as a result of the global pandemic. That said, I have joined my colleagues in encouraging Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to work with Ohio Secretary of State LaRose to ensure all election materials are moved through the system in a timely manner. Of course, people can always vote in person, either early or on Election Day.

               I will continue supporting the USPS and its mission – a mission that’s even more important in rural parts of America, like much of Eastern and Southeastern Ohio.

               Again, thank you for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to call on my office if you have any additional questions or concerns. I also encourage you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and at billjohnson.house.gov so that you may keep track of my most recent work on your behalf. I look forward to hearing from you in the future.

          Sincerely,

          Bill Johnson

          Member of Congress

Research Citations

From Mother Jones, August 13, 2020. Trump Makes It Official: He’s Sabotaging the Post Office to Rig the Election ~ Republicans will let him manipulate the federal agency with impunity because they believe it’ll rig their elections, too.

“. . . the U.S. Postal Service is required to pre-fund retirement for employees in a way other businesses are not,” from “Wait, so what’s happening with the Post Office?”, as published at the Chicago Tribune, August 15, 2020, as a reprint from the Associated Press.

From the Los Angeles Times, August 13, 2020.

“President Donald Trump said Thursday that he would block a funding boost for the U.S. Postal Service to handle an expected flood of mail-in ballots in coming weeks, admitting it’s part of a White House effort to limit Americans voting by mail and raising the chances of chaos surrounding the election in November.”

“Postal Service warns 46 states their voters could be disenfranchised by delayed mail-in ballots,” Washington Post, August 14, 2020.

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