August 13, 2020 12:45 PM, EDT

Trump Draws Hard Line on USPS in Stalled Relief Talks

A USPS letter carrier is seen wearing a protective mask.A USPS letter carrier is seen wearing a protective mask. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News)

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President Donald Trump raised a new obstacle in the completion of a deal on a coronavirus-relief package Aug. 13 by drawing a hard line against a Democratic plan for shoring up the U.S. Postal Service, adding his unsupported claim that more mail-in voting in the November election would increase fraud.

“They want $25 billion dollars for the post office because the post office is going to have to go to town to get these great ridiculous ballots in,” Trump said Aug. 13 in an interview on Fox Business Network. The $3.5 billion they want to pay for mail-in ballots is “for something that’ll turn out to be fraudulent,” he added, even though there is no evidence that voting by mail opens the door to widespread fraud.

Democrats have pressed for the funding to ensure capacity to process an increased share of postal ballots given the dangers of the spread of COVID-19. But Trump pointed to disputes over the drawn-out New York primary election as evidence of the risks tied to expanded mail-in voting.

Talks are already at a standstill with the two sides at least $1 trillion apart on another package of relief for the U.S. economy.

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