A mail carrier wearing a mask and gloves in Berkeley. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

Five Democratic Congressmen from California vowed Thursday to properly fund the U.S. Postal Service to ensure that vital medicines are delivered and ballots received on time.

Rep. Jerry McNerney, who represents the Stockton area in the Central Valley, said Californians are “frustrated and scared” about cutbacks announced by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a new appointee of President Trump.

Dejoy later agreed to postpone the cutbacks, but McNerny said, “That may sound good, but the damage has already been done.”

McNerney was joined in a virtual press conference by Rep. Scott Peters from San Diego, Rep. Mark Takano from Riverside County, Rep. Pete Aguilar from San Bernardino County and Rep. Ted Lieu of coastal Los Angeles County.

They’re headed back to Washington this week to vote on the Delivering for America Act, which would provide an emergency $25 billion in funding for the Post Office.

Peters said his office has received an “onslaught of phone calls” from constituents worried about getting checks and medicines on time, having to pay late fees on bills, and counting on mail ballots. He called the cutbacks “destructive operational changes” that amount to a “plot to disrupt our mail-in voting system.”

Takano put his concerns bluntly: “Donald Trump is manipulating the U.S. Postal Service to make it harder for voters to cast their ballot from the safety of their own home during a pandemic.”

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