Good afternoon. I hope you and your loved ones are faring well during these trying times. There are some recent developments in Congress and other important information I would like to share with you.
House Passes Delivering for America Act to Save USPS
The House returned from August recess early to pass the Delivering for America Act, which would provide $25 billion for the United States Post Office (USPS) and prevent changes in postal operations that would result in reduced service for the upcoming election. Specifically, the bill would halt the postal facility closures, restrictions on overtime pay, and the removal of mail-sorting machines.
To protect our elections and ensure you receive your mail on time, the Senate must pass this bill and send it to the President to be signed into law. Also, it is not enough to pause these reforms; we must reverse the changes that were made. Most importantly, the USPS must reinstall its mail-sorting machines to maintain the integrity of our elections.
Postmaster General Testifies Before the House Oversight Committee
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testified before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on his recent series of reforms to the USPS. According to Mr. DeJoy, these changes were implemented to improve efficiency and to cut costs. However, he has yet to provide documentation detailing the potential impact of his reforms.
Under my questioning, Mr. DeJoy assured me that if he were provided funding, he would reinstall the mail-sorting machines that were removed. He also committed to providing a concrete plan for ensuring that every mail-in ballot arrives on time and is counted. Additionally, millions of Americans rely on the Postal Service for vital goods and services, such as prescription medications. We cannot allow Americans to be denied their medicine or votes because of postal slowdowns.
Updates in the District
In recent weeks our district experienced intense heat waves, ongoing rolling power outages, and enormous fires and poor air quality due to smoke across the Bay Area. My staff is closely monitoring developments and working with local officials to assist constituents. For updates about local fires, please check with CalFire, the state agency overseeing fire relief efforts. As always, I am grateful for the tireless efforts of our first responders.
On September 16th, I will host a virtual roundtable discussion on worker cooperatives, businesses that are owned and operated by workers. The panel will include Assembly Member Ash Kalra, Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor and several representatives of worker cooperative groups. Worker cooperatives can provide a viable alternative for baby boomers approaching retirement, especially for struggling businesses impacted by COVID. Look for more details on my Facebook page in the coming days.
Facebook Live Town Halls
Thank you to all who participated in this month’s virtual town halls. In September, I will host Facebook Live town halls on September 1st and September 22nd at noon Pacific. Please be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @RepRoKhanna.
Ensuring Masks for All
Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-28) and I, along with twenty-four of our colleagues in the House, sent a letter to House and Senate Leadership advocating for a mask provision in the next COVID-19 relief package. The letter calls on Congress to provide for the mass distribution of free facial coverings to all Americans, funding for a Public Service Announcement campaign encouraging mask usage, and research into mask efficacy and optimal design.
Rethinking U.S. National Security
Congress authorized $740 billion for the Pentagon, yet more than 170,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 with no end in sight. We are six months into this crisis and still buying missiles while our frontline workers scrounge for personal protective equipment. In my op-ed in Mercury News, former Defense Secretary William Perry and I argue that we should not spend our limited resources on new weapons that we do not need. Instead, we must redirect these tax dollars toward helping struggling American families.
Caseworkers in my Santa Clara office are available to help Silicon Valley residents navigate the bureaucracy of federal agencies and any other concerns during the COVID-19 crisis. My staff can help you solve problems with immigration, visas, Social Security payments and VA paperwork, among other areas. Please call my office at (408) 436-2720 between 9:00am and 5:00pm Monday-Friday if you need assistance. Your call will be promptly answered (remotely) by my staff. You can also contact me online at any time at Khanna.house.gov/contact. While we are unable to meet in-person, my staff is ready to help. Visit my website for more information.