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August 19, 2020 4:15 PM, EDT

White House Open to $25 Billion for USPS, McEnany Says

A person approaches a USPS collection box in Los Angeles on Aug. 17.A person approaches a USPS collection box in Los Angeles on Aug. 17. (Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg News)

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The Trump administration is willing to consider the Democrats’ plan to spend $25 billion on the U.S. Postal Service — as long as lawmakers also provide other coronavirus relief sought by the White House, said spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany.

“We’re certainly open to looking at the $25 billion, but we want included in there relief for the American people,” McEnany told reporters at the White House on Aug. 19.

Democrats and the White House have been locked in a stalemate over a new stimulus package, with Democrats demanding more funding than Republicans. The two sides are at least $1 trillion apart on another package of relief to overcome the ravages of a pandemic that continues to force companies, schools and other organizations to roll back plans to reopen for business.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to hold a vote Aug. 22 on $25 billion in funding for the Postal Service, amid concerns that it doesn’t have the resources to process mail-in ballots in November elections.

White House officials have previously said they were open to $10 billion for the Postal Service. A draft Senate GOP stimulus bill being circulated would convert a previous $10 billion loan offer into a grant.

McEnany said the White House would want any smaller bill to include economic impact payments and additional funding for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program.

Democrats say President Donald Trump, running behind Democrat Joe Biden in polls, is mounting a politically driven campaign to hobble the Postal Service. Trump denies that.

The president has repeatedly claimed — without evidence — that widespread mail-in voting leads to fraud; diminished capacity to deliver ballots could complicate vote-counting. Trump has also said the agency in effect subsidizes deliveries for Amazon.com Inc., a longtime target of the president’s ire.

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