Democratic Rep. Chains Himself to Mailbox: 'They're Not Getting This One'

Democratic Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio appeared determined to take a stand against the U.S. Postal Services' recent cuts on Tuesday, sharing a video on Twitter of the lawmaker chained to a mailbox and declaring: "They're not getting this one!"

In recent days, DeFazio has railed against the cuts at the Postal Service, which have seen a slowdown in services, accusing President Donald Trump of "intentionally trying to destroy" the service "to steal the election."

The claim that the changes appear aimed at supporting Trump's re-election bid is rooted in the idea that the delays will undermine the mail-in voting process, which many have said is a necessary alternative to in-person voting amid the pandemic, and which Trump has repeatedly railed against.

"We can't let it stand," DeFazio has warned.

Sharing his video on Tuesday, DeFazio's office wrote in a tweet: "They're trying to tear apart our Postal Service piece by piece. But Peter DeFazio is defending our right to vote (and every mailbox in America)."

The demonstration came on the same day that new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a political donor and ally of Trump who assumed the role in June, appeared to change course on the immediate direction of the postal service, announcing that the changes being made would be suspended until after the federal election in November.

Already, changes aimed at cutting costs have caused significant delays, with some warning that residents have been unable to receive important mail, including medications, on time.

According to CNN, pushing back some of the changes means that retail hours at post offices will not change, while blue collection boxes and processing equipment will stay in place.

The reversal came as at least 20 Democratic attorney generals looked to take legal action to push back against the changes.

The postal service has become a central focus in the lead-up to the 2020 election, with debate around mail-in voting brought to the fore amid the pandemic.

Trump has repeatedly made baseless claims that relying on mail-in ballots in the upcoming election would lead to a surge in fraud, despite the fact that it is a common practice.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not appear to be reassured by DeJoy's announcement of a pause no changes to the postal service.

"This pause only halts a limited number of the postmaster's changes, does not reverse damage already done, and alone is not enough to ensure voters will not be disenfranchised by the president" Pelosi said in a statement to Reuters.

As such, Pelosi said she would be moving forward with legislation aimed at supporting the Postal Service so it can run efficiently.

"The House will be moving ahead with our vote this Saturday," she said.

The legislation is expected to include provisions to prevent the post office from having to reduce service levels below their point in January, according to Reuters.

Newsweek has contacted DeFazio's office, the Trump campaign team, the White House and USPS for comment.

USPS
A man walks past a United States Postal Service truck and mailbox outside a post office on August 17, 2020 in Jersey City, New Jersey. Gary Hershorn/Getty
Democratic Rep. Chains Himself to Mailbox: 'They're Not Getting This One' | U.S.