Aug 18, 2020

Rep. Steny Hoyer & Lawmakers USPS Press Conference Transcript August 18

Rep. Steny Hoyer & Lawmakers USPS Press Conference Transcript August 18
RevBlogTranscriptsRep. Steny Hoyer & Lawmakers USPS Press Conference Transcript August 18

Rep. Steny Hoyer and other lawmakers held a press conference about the USPS on August 18. Read the transcript of the briefing here.

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Congressman Steny Hoyer: (00:00)
Essential items for their lives, to politicize and sabotage the Postal Service in order to suppress votes is dangerous. It is however, apparently what the President of the United States wants to do, but now it appears maybe their hands been caught in the cookie jar and they’re taking it out and leaving the cookies in place. We’re going to make sure that happens by passing legislation that I would presume in light of this action, every Republican and every Democrat would support. To politicize and sabotage the Postal Service in order to suppress the vote is dangerous to our democracy, it is designed to prevent the people from access. In a very visual way, they took blue boxes away from the American people, no more dramatic example of suppression and prevention for participation. I’ve heard from constituents in my district, I know everybody here has heard from constituents in their district, and they’ll talk about it. I’m going to go quickly on, and House Democrats will not let this president destroy our postal system, which existed before our constitution and was felt to be a critically important service, not a business, service to the American people and to our democracy. It was a service that binds us together and allows us to communicate with one another.

Congressman Steny Hoyer: (01:38)
And the fact that this postmaster general would have taken actions, unilaterally, obviously with agreement of the President of the United States without giving anybody the right to comment, which is preserved to them under the law… The actions today where the attorney general has now said, we’re not going to implement any of those changes until after the election. Well, we’re going to make sure in law that that is the case because he should not, and he should not have done what he’s done to date and he must reverse any adverse consequences of the actions that have been taken to date. Now, let me introduce my colleague from Maryland, who was at a press conference yesterday in Baltimore, Senator Chris van Hollen, from the State of Maryland.

Senator Chris Van Hollen: (02:40)
Thank you. Well, thank you, Steny. And I want to thank Steny and my colleagues from the State of Maryland who are here, to Congressman Eleanor Holmes Norton from the District, to our friends from Virginia, and to all of you for joining us for this important occasion where we blow the whistle on what’s been happening around the country with the new postmaster general under orders from President Trump. And I want to give special thanks to the postal workers and the letter carriers and all the men and women who faithfully deliver the mail on time, six days a week. The words, “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat nor gloom of night stays the quarriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Has always been part of the Post Office creed. And we can add to that recently, nor a global pandemic. These are essential workers who have been doing their jobs delivering mail on time six days a week, even during a pandemic, and they’ve been doing it for over hundreds of years.

Senator Chris Van Hollen: (03:57)
And then comes along the new postmaster general, Postmaster General DeJoy, and suddenly all of us started hearing from our constituents. Constituents calling because they can’t get life sustaining medicines. I’m going to read just one, “Dear Senator Van Hollen, I’m a resident of Leisure World in Silver Spring. While I was in quarantine in Georgia with my daughter for the past four months, I mailed a box home to me by Priority Mail on Friday, July 31st. I was told it would arrive on Monday, August 3rd, which is the day I flew back to Maryland. Today is August 7th, and my box has yet to arrive. My meds are in that box and today was the last dosage I had with me. I tracked the box to UPS, and they were informed that it arrived in Gaithersburg on August 5th, but that is probably somewhere in the warehouse there.”

Senator Chris Van Hollen: (05:02)
We’ve been hearing from seniors who can’t get their medicines, from veterans and seniors and retirees who are desperately waiting for their retirement checks, from small businesses whose operations are being disrupted. And when we called our post offices to find out what happened, everybody said, “Well, these orders have come from above.” And all roads led right here, right here to this headquarters on L’Enfant Plaza and Postmaster General DeJoy. And what we learned was that he had put in place a number of measures that have slowed down the mail, and Steny Hoyer mentioned some of those, they include the removal of sorting machines from post offices. Is in fact, Congressman Sarbanes and I were in Baltimore yesterday and learned that the central distribution center there had four of their machines that had been removed from that post office, and that was part of the slowdown.

Senator Chris Van Hollen: (06:06)
Now, as Steny Hoyer said, as Congressman Hoyer said, if any of these postal workers had unlawfully delayed or detained the mail, they’re committing a violation of the criminal statute, 18 USC 1703, and they could be prosecuted. But that statute also covers postal officers and that includes this postmaster general, and I can tell you anybody knows that it is unlawful to interfere with the Post Office in order to try to cook and fix and disrupt a United States election, which is what this postmaster general was doing on the orders of Donald Trump, who told the country on national TV and via Twitter, that he’s interfering with the Post Office because he doesn’t like mail-in ballots.

Senator Chris Van Hollen: (07:10)
So we need to pursue that line, we need to call upon and are calling upon the board of governors to remove this postmaster general. Now, as a Congressman Hoyer said, they got caught red handed. That’s what happened here, they got caught red handed. And so we just saw the statement of the postmaster general saying he doesn’t plan to make any additional changes. Okay, that’s good. We need to watch that diligently, but they need to reverse the measures that they’ve already put in place. And that’s why you’re going to see hearings in the Senate and in the House and that’s why I want to salute Steny Hoyer and Congressman Hoyer and the other members of the House here and Speaker Pelosi, for bringing back the House to pass a bill that says very clearly that you can’t make any changes, not a single change until January 1 of next year at the very earliest.

Senator Chris Van Hollen: (08:11)
They got caught red handed. The Post Office is enshrined in the constitution. They all swore an oath to uphold the constitution, they’re violating that oath and we need to hold them to it to make sure that we have this election. Senator Warner’s committee just issued a report today about Russian interference in 2016. And we know about reports that the Russians are engaged in interfering in 2020, so we have enough to worry about with foreign interference we don’t need an inside job to try to fix our elections. That’s what was happening here, we caught them red handed, but now we have to pass legislation to make it absolutely clear that this is unacceptable. And so now I’m going to turn it over to the next of my colleagues, and I believe it’s Senator Warner and thank him for all his efforts.

Senator Warner: (09:05)
Well thank you, Chris. And thank you, Steny, thanks to all my colleagues, we’re going to hear from Annette in a couple of minutes, a retired postal worker. I’m going to just reinforce what’s already been said. Chris talked about some of his constituents, Steny talked about some of his, I’m sure each member will talk about the fact of constituents calling in. They couldn’t get their mail delivered. They couldn’t get their drugs. They couldn’t get their medicines. I’ll tell you two quick stories that I’m hearing from Virginians, one from constituent who said her 91 year old mom had been waiting for over 10 days for her medicine, she was flipping out about when she was going to get it. Another individual said he had been notified by his credit card company that he was going to get a big late fee, even though he’d sent his bill in 10 days early.

Senator Warner: (10:03)
What do all of these have in common? They all have in common that they all took place after June 16th when the new Postmaster General, Mr. DeJoy was appointed. This thing starts at the top. We all know we’ve called upon the board of governors to remove Mr. DeJoy and put someone in who has basic competency. We have elections this year, in Virginia we changed our rules so that voters can start voting as early as September 19th. If they’re not able to vote because you’ve got a President of the United States that is trying to do everything legal and otherwise to impede mail-in or absentee voting, then you’re seeing an effort to try to steal the election.

Senator Warner: (10:57)
Chris mentioned coming on top of the bipartisan report that the Senate Intelligence Committee, that laid out today of what happened four years ago with outside intervention, reconfirmed by the Intelligence Committee last week that Russia and others are back, the last thing we need is sabotage being manipulated by the building behind us.

Senator Warner: (11:20)
Final comment, last night before the DNC Convention came on, Steny, I was with my wife flipping through TV, came upon an old movie, some of you probably won’t have remembered it. I think it was back in the ’90s called The Postman, it had Kevin Costner in it, and it was eerily reminiscent. There’d been a pandemic and society was breaking down and the bad guys were out and around. And you know what was the group that people suddenly saw as a hope that there might be a brighter day? Kevin Costner became a postman and thought, “Could we have the resurrection of the US Postal Service?” Well, it was strange how that…

Senator Warner: (12:03)
… Postal severance. Well, it was strange how that film of fiction that I happened to catch last night almost seems to be being repeated in real life in 2020. America deserves better. We need to hold this postmaster accountable. Mitch McConnell, bring the Senate back to town so we can pass similar legislation to the House. With that, let me bring up Annette Weaver, retired postal worker, who I think can speak to these issues directly. Annette?

Annette Taylor: (12:31)
Good afternoon. My name’s Annette Taylor. That’s all right.

Senator Warner: (12:37)
I didn’t have your address there.

Annette Taylor: (12:40)
I first of all want to personally think Congressman Hoyer. He is my Congressman and in the fifth district we just consider him Steny. We don’t say anything else. We all know who Steny is.

Annette Taylor: (12:55)
I was a 32 year employee of the Postal Service, and prior to that I was in the air force for eight years. I got my job with the Postal Service right out of the military, and I was very proud to get this job because I felt that it was an essential job that connected the whole United States together. And it just was an overwhelming thought that when I put on that uniform, that I was now a representative of the postal service and I was very proud to be a postal service employee all those years. I love my job, raised two children on a good salary and benefits, and I am here today to tell you about how important the postal service is to the public from a letter carrier’s perspective. Letter carriers touch over 160 million people a day in the United States and also businesses throughout the United States. They depend on us to deliver their medications, supplies especially now in this COVID situation, and now as we grow closer to the election, also balloting. It’s critical that we have our mail processed promptly and as letter carriers, we always felt if we left something behind us that day, it felt really bad. Even if it was a mailer that could wait until the next day, we all wanted to take every piece of mail behind us every single day. That’s no longer the case. For 40 years, the Postal Service has not needed taxpayer funds, and we now need taxpayer assistance. We have experienced staggering losses with volume and of course revenue like all other businesses, and all of this is damaging postal operations. We need a bill which would allow us to ensure the US has funding and support to prevent delays and to continue the essential service that we provide. Thank you. A bipartisan poll of voters shows that 92% of voters are behind and support direct funding to the Postal Service, and I think it’s really important to keep that in mind when we move forward with any actions with the Postal Service. I thank you very much.

Steny Hoyer: (15:34)
Thank you. Eleanor Holmes Norton, the Congressman who represents Washington, DC.

Eleanor Holmes Norton: (15:42)
Thank you, leader Hoyer. Now, I came here today to focus on one thing, and that is a part of the bill that will be discussed Monday called Delivering for America Act, that would keep the postal service from making the changes the new leadership is already embarked upon on levels of service until January 1st, 2020. And then, leader Hoyer announces that the postal service has already agreed.

Steny Hoyer: (16:26)
Minutes ago.

Eleanor Holmes Norton: (16:28)
Minutes ago, he says, to postpone any changes in Post Office operations and levels of service until January 1st, 2020. That’s exactly what our bill, the Delivering for America act, says. And I wasn’t going to talk about any other part of the act except that of course it takes time to get an act passed. And now, it looks that what we’re seeing all over the country is producing the desired effect, to keep the Post Office from leaving an indelible scar that would keep mail ballots perhaps from being counted or at least many of them from being counted at all.

Eleanor Holmes Norton: (17:26)
Bear in mind that the United States held a successful election in the middle of the Civil War. Surely, we can do that again. But the experience from the primaries lead us to believe we were headed and may still be headed for a pandemonium of results in the new November elections that may leave lasting uncertainty. I’m sure all us wish that we enjoyed the 90% approval rating that the Congress of the United States enjoyed, that approval rating that the Postal Service does. And of course, this new postmaster Louis DeJoy will be appearing before our oversight and government reform committee on which I serve on Monday. Since his appointments to give you some notion here in the Capitol, mail delivery, for example in ward eight of our city, reports that there are people who haven’t received their mail for two weeks. I am in the midst of a ward by ward investigation now.

Eleanor Holmes Norton: (18:47)
Understand that these lapses are being experienced nationwide, so much so that the speaker of the House has called us back for an emergency session on Saturday. During our hearing on Monday, I’m going to give you some notion of what I’ll be asking the postmaster. Because we have hold of a July 15th memorandum that was leaked actually directing and writing employees to leave mail behind in distribution centers and directing against any overtime. I’m going to question him on an August 7th Postal Service memo. This is a memo from the Postal Service itself which criticized the new postmaster’s sidelining of 23 executives who have all of the institutional knowledge of the postal service, and instead centralize everything around the new postmaster, DeJoy. I want to know my why my district here in the District of Columbia and 46 states have received warnings from the Postal Service that it cannot guarantee that all mail ballots will arrive in town to be counted. Trump’s standing in the polls, apparently, led him to try to sabotage mail in voting as his last hope for retaining power. It’s going to fall to those of us who’ve come here this afternoon, the legislative branch, to take the actions necessary to preserve democracy and democratic elections in our country. Now, who is next?

Steny Hoyer: (20:49)
John Sarbanes.

Eleanor Holmes Norton: (20:51)
My colleague from Maryland, representative Sarbanes.

John Sarbanes: (21:00)
Thank you very much, Congresswoman Norton, and thank you Congressman Hoyer for bringing us here today. So, we know that the Post Office has a 90% approval rating and in that, told us that 92% of Americans support funding to make sure that the Postal Service is strong. So, we know that, but have you ever thought about why that is? The reason for that is because of people like Annette Taylor. It’s that special bond between the letter carrier and the customer on the front line. People who’ve come to rely on the post office, they know they can count on them, they trust them. So, when you attack the postal service the way Louis DeJoy has been doing, with what’s almost become with an institution so revered in this country as the Postal Service, you’re trying to break a sacred bond between the letter carrier and the customer. Between the postal service and the public, and that’s not right.

John Sarbanes: (22:20)
I’ll tell you, I hear right now in my mind the voice of Elijah Cummings. And Louis DeJoy should be counting his blessings that Elijah’s not here for this moment, because I can’t even imagine what he would be doing. He cared for the men and women of the US Postal Service. He made it a number one commitment of his to try to strengthen the Postal Service. So, when you attack the workings of the Postal Service, you’re asking these letter carriers to go against their nature. Annette said it, you don’t want to leave out on your route unless you have 100% of the mail in your bag, and they’re being told to leave with 50% or 25%. It cuts against their nature of commitment and service to their customers. But we’re not standing for it and the American public’s not standing for it. The emails and the calls that we’ve been getting in our offices have been saying to us, “We’ve got a problem getting our mail,” but you know what they’ve been saying more than that? “Stand up for the Postal Service, fight back against these changes, honor the people like Annette Taylor who have been serving us day in and day out for so many years and building that trusted relationship between the public and this treasured institution, the United States Postal Service.” And now, it’s my pleasure to-

John: (24:03)
… the United States Postal Service. Now it’s my pleasure to turn it over to Congressman Anthony Brown from Maryland.

Rep. Anthony Brown: (24:08)
Thank you, John.

Rep. Anthony Brown: (24:11)
Since January of 2017, President Trump has sought to underfund and undermine the US Postal Service, primarily for personal and political reasons. Why he would want to do that has been laid bare during this pandemic. An institution, as John said, others have mentioned, Annette and the other 100,000 veterans who work at the US Postal Service can attest to, it is a revered institution. It is treasured by the American public. It rivals the US military, our public libraries and public schools, our fire departments, to the extent that the public appreciates the men and women, the letter carriers of the US Postal Service.

Rep. Anthony Brown: (25:12)
When back in March this country shut down because of the pandemic, they went out. As Chris reminded us, through rain and snow, heat, the gloom of darkness, and yes, even during a pandemic, the men and women of the US Postal Service did their job. And they do their job every day because they understand that on any given day one in every two, Americans are going to be touched by what they do. They’re going to help small businesses keep their doors open. They’re going to help the 300,000 veterans who not out of convenience, but out of necessity today during this pandemic receive their prescription drugs through the US Postal System.

Rep. Anthony Brown: (26:05)
We’ve all talked about e-mails and contacts to our office, the lion’s share of the pleas for help that my office has received are from veterans of the Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marines pleading with us. Had one veteran from Maryland said, “I was waiting a number of days. Didn’t get it.” Called up the VA. They said, “It’s in the mail.” Checked in with the US Postal Service, “Don’t know where it is.” He had to get in his car and drive two hours for a lifesaving prescription. We encourage our seniors and our military, we encourage everyone, do prescription by mail, and what was once a convenience is now a necessity because we encourage people to stay home.

Rep. Anthony Brown: (26:53)
For those that rely on lifesaving drugs to be delivered by the US Postal Service, Postmaster General DeJoy is putting their life at risk. The 100,000 veterans who work for the US Postal Service were out there and continue to be out there. They are essential workers; all caps, underline, italics, bold. They are the essential of essential workers.

Rep. Anthony Brown: (27:23)
In November, many of us will go to the polls, we’ll early vote or we’ll vote on election day, but more and more Americans, not because of convenience, but out of necessity, will vote by mail. President Trump and his postmaster general, who brought neither the experience, the competence, the commitment, or the courage to uphold the mission and support the men and women of the US Postal Service is now putting our democracy in jeopardy.

Rep. Anthony Brown: (27:55)
We all have a responsibility with Mr. Hoyer and my colleagues in the House, Senator Chris Van Hollen and his colleagues in the Senate. We are called to return for the House on Saturday to pass legislation that funds the post office and codifies the reversal of actions that this postmaster general took in June. We cannot count on the whims and the capricious conduct of that president and that postmaster general to secure our elections. Not only must Congress come back and pass that meaningful legislation, but today I stand here and I call for the resignation of postmaster general DeJoy, Who’s putting our democracy and the health of our citizens at dire risk.

Rep. Anthony Brown: (28:48)
With that, I invite Don Beyer, my colleague to the podium.

Rep Don Beyer: (28:53)
Thank you very much.

Rep Don Beyer: (28:55)
Good afternoon. It’s hard not to repeat the many wonderful things my colleagues have said about how our district office, our offices downtown are just overwhelmed with constituent complaints about the mail, but I think even more importantly about how all human life, all human connectedness is driven by our relations with other people. In an America where more people live alone than at any time in our history, more people as a percentage live alone than anytime in our history, it’s our mail that connects us. They say more die alone. I remember so many times delivering Meals On Wheels and realized the most important thing of the meal is just the human connectedness.

Rep Don Beyer: (29:43)
I still remember even as a child and to today, one of the most exciting parts of the day is when the mail comes and the dog races through the house to attack. Yes. It’s drugs. Yes. It’s bills. My wife had me balanced a checkbook this morning and discovered there were five different checks that had never been cashed for a couple of months. I realized it wasn’t that I forgot to mail them, it’s that they never got there because of the mail.

Rep Don Beyer: (30:11)
On the way over, we heard on the radio that DeJoy was backing off on many of the things that he had planned to do, from the routes to the overtime and alike. I thought all you need to do is get the House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer to hold a press conference and everything changes. We are fighting back, attorney generals, members of Congress, local leaders, in every possible way to try to preserve the most American of institutions. Thanksgiving, football, Apple pie, none of them are mentioned in the Constitution, but the US Postal Service, which is our connection, one to the other. Senator Mark Warner, who was our wonderful governor of Virginia, knows that whenever rumor would come that they were going to close the post office somewhere in rural Virginia, all hell would break loose because people realized that was their connection to the rest of the country, to the rest of their friends.

Rep Don Beyer: (31:04)
Let’s do everything we possibly can to reverse this, not just to make sure that we have fair elections, that every vote is counted, but to make sure that the American system, the American democracy is preserved through our postal service.

Rep Don Beyer: (31:16)
With that, let me give you the distinguished member of Congress from the 10th District of Virginia, Jennifer Wexton.

Rep. Jennifer Wexton: (31:25)
I was elected to represent and serve the people of Virginia’s 10th Congressional District. While I was horrified by these changes that were being made to sabotage the United States Postal Service, and I had heard from some constituents about them, I did what I do in these situations, which is I went to my constituents to find out what they thought. We sent out a brief survey to our list of constituents. Well, our email inbox blew up. In a matter of hours, we heard back from over 3,000 constituents who shared their stories.

Rep. Jennifer Wexton: (32:02)
I heard from the woman who’s 95-year-old father relied on the VA medicines to arrive in a timely fashion and that they hadn’t been. I heard from the small business owner who caters to rural clients who can only be served through the United States Postal Service. I heard from the mother whose daughter has a complex medical disorder that can only be served by supplements that can’t be purchased in stores. And yes, I heard from letter carriers who have worked for the postal service for decades who for the first time in their careers were told to leave First-Class Mail behind.

Rep. Jennifer Wexton: (32:41)
Clearly, Louis DeJoy has messed with the wrong community. It’s obviously touched a nerve and they got caught red-handed, as Leader Hoyer said. I’m glad that they’re backing off making these changes, but you’ll forgive me for being a little bit skeptical. We’re still going to return to Washington on Saturday. We’re still going to pass this legislation. We’re still going to send it over to the Senate. And if Louis DeJoy and Donald Trump are serious about protecting the postal service, they will give their blessing to this legislation and Donald Trump will sign it into law when it passes the Senate.

Rep. Jennifer Wexton: (33:21)
This is what we need to do. We need to protect the postal service. I’m delighted that you guys are shining a bright spotlight on this, and we’re going to do it. Thank you very much.

Congressman Steny Hoyer: (33:34)
Thank you. Thank you. I want to thank all my colleagues for coming. I want to thank all of you for coming. I want to thank Ms. Taylor for being here as well. On behalf of all of us, and some have already said that, for all those who serve our postal system so faithfully and so energetically and so conscientiously, please let them know how appreciative we are, but much more importantly, how appreciative America is. That’s where we hear from. We hear from America that says they want their postal service on the job, keeping them connected.

Congressman Steny Hoyer: (34:09)
I want to point out to you that the legislation that we’ll consider on Saturday will include provisions that the services be restored. It will also include provisions that will say that all election mail, either from election board to voter or voter to election board shall be considered First-Class Mail.

Congressman Steny Hoyer: (34:35)
Now that’s going to have a cost. We have put in the bill, that’s going to be considered on Saturday, a sum that we have put in the CARES Act and we put it in the Heroes Act, and it was dropped at the insistence of the Republicans. $25 billion. Now what everybody ought to know, including all our constituents ought to know, that $25 billion was unanimously requested by Trump appointees on the postal board. That is exactly the figure they asked for, that they thought that they needed in order to ensure that the United States Postal Service has the resources to act as they are expected to and consistent with the law. I hope they will do that, but we will ensure on Saturday.

Congressman Steny Hoyer: (35:26)
I would ask Senator McConnell will pass this. The postal service has decided they’re going to do it. My request to you is you hotline that bill don’t. You don’t have to call all the senators back, just hotline it and see if there’s a single senator who says, “No, let’s cut the postal service. No, let’s slow delivery by the postal service. No, let’s not ensure that somebody who has a disability, a preexisting condition, and we’ll be at danger going to the-”

Congressman Steny Hoyer: (36:03)
A preexisting condition and will be at danger going to the polls has the right, not only to mail their ballot from home, but to have an expectation that it will be counted because it will be delivered on time. So we’ll yield just for a couple of questions. It’s hot. You’re hot. I’m hot. Everybody here is hot.

Journalists: (36:29)
Leader Hoyer, do you expect, given the Postmaster General’s statement today, for there to be any legislative text changes to the bill that you plan to pass on Saturday?

Congressman Steny Hoyer: (36:33)
No, I don’t. And the reason being, because what it essentially says is to do what he has now done. By the way, on Tuesday, over 18 States including Maryland, Brian Frosh, and Herring, the Attorney General of Virginia, would be filing suit on Tuesday. So while I don’t want to be too cynical, I don’t think the action that was taken just minutes ago that you got on your cell phones was taken because they thought they were going to win that suit. Questions?

Journalists: (37:11)
Senator Warner, I think you brought up the Intelligence Committee before. I was wondering if there was anything new that we learned from that investigation that was particularly alarming, or if anybody else [inaudible 00:37:19].

Senator Warner: (37:23)
This report is a thousand pages long, twice as long as the Mueller report. I would urge every American to read it, to draw their own conclusions. Unprecedented amount of Russian intervention and a myriad of contacts with individuals affiliated and associated with the Trump campaign. And what is so disturbing to me as we see the Intelligence Committee, as recently as 10 days ago, come out and say Russia, as well as China and Iran, are back, that this White House and this majority leader has not allowed the Senate to vote on a single election security bill. We’re better off because people in the Intelligence Community are working harder. The FBI are working harder. Some of the social media companies are doing better.

Senator Warner: (38:25)
But the fact that if a Russian plants an ad on Facebook, that there’s still no disclosure requirement, the fact that something as simple as saying if a foreign government tries to offer you dirt or misinformation on your political opponent, there ought to be an obligation of that presidential campaign to tell the FBI and not say thank you. We’ve not passed any of that legislation. Why? Because the majority leader’s not let it come to the floor. It would pass overwhelmingly.

Journalists: (38:58)
Senator Warner, I’d like to… Oh, I’m sorry.

Congressman Steny Hoyer: (38:58)
Let me just say one additional thing. We understand that the threat from without is very serious and must be confronted. Even more serious is the threat from within.

Journalists: (39:15)
I was going to pick up on your committee report, but this question could be answered by anyone who talks to constituents. Is there a concern, or are you looking into whether there are changes made beyond the hardware? And that would beyond the machines and the blue boxes, and if there may be changes made to software or systems, perhaps vulnerabilities… I ask because I see people’s tracking for their prescription medication of Maryland residents who had two weeks vacation [bounce 00:39:45] from Maryland to Pennsylvania to DC, to Maryland to DC, to Maryland. So there’s some computer telling it to move around for two weeks? Is that a concern? Is that something you’ll be looking into?

Senator Warner: (39:56)
Well Chris Krebs at CISA, at DHS, has actually done a pretty good job on the election machinery in terms of improved safety. The question we have now with… Up until today, Mr DeJoy’s affirmative attempts to slow down the mail in light of the middle of the pandemic, and the need for, as other members have said, not the nice to have, but necessity to use mail in voting, I think does raise other serious questions about security and our postal system.

Journalists: (40:30)
Perhaps the software could’ve been changed or tampered with?

Senator Warner: (40:33)
I’m not making any of that. There’s been no evidence of that. But what we do need to recognize is that the election machinery is better today than it was four years ago.

Congressman Steny Hoyer: (40:43)
I want to make a suggestion. If you will get the name, address, and telephone number of the individual involved and get it to the member of Congress who may represent them, or get it to Eleanor Holmes Norton, who is a senior member of the committee that oversees the postal department, we’ll track that down.

Journalists: (41:03)
Okay, thank you.

Congressman Steny Hoyer: (41:04)
One more question. Thank you all very much.

Journalists: (41:14)
Thank you. Thanks, Steny. You’re absolutely great, take care.

Congressman Steny Hoyer: (41:14)
You’re as hot as we are, I guess.

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