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Postal Service Weighs Closing Offices, Cutting Services Ahead of 2020 Election

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The U.S. Postal Service may be closing a number of offices and cutting services ahead of the 2020 election, according to reports. The mail service is running out of funds as the country positions itself for sweeping mail-in elections in November.

According to MarketWatch, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is positioning USPS “to eliminate overtime for hundreds of thousands of postal workers, potentially causing a delay in mail deliveries.”

Additionally, The Associated Press recently obtained memos from the Postal Service describing the need for an “operational pivot” to compensate for the losses suffered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s just asinine to think that you can shut something down or throttle it back in terms of the pandemic when basically the lifeline for voting and democracy is going to be in the hands of the Postal Service,” Senator Joe Manchin, D-WV, who has received a number of complaints about USPS cutting offices, told reporters Wednesday, according to MarketWatch.

A USPS spokesperson told MarketWatch that the Postal Service “has experienced over a decade of financial losses, with no end in sight, and we face an impending liquidity crisis,” adding that  “it is critical that the Postal Service take a fresh look at our operations and make necessary adjustments.”

Manchin, along with his Democratic colleagues in Congress, have expressed grave concerns over the financial cuts. Moreover, they’ve pushed to include extra funding for USPS in the coronavirus financial relief bills.

The bill passed in March allows the Treasury Department to lend $10 billion to the Postal Service.

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Multiple states launch lawsuit against Biden’s student-loan forgiveness plan

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Breaking Thursday, the states of Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, and South Carolina joined together to file a lawsuit against President Biden’s administration in order to stop the student loan-forgiveness program from taking effect.

“In addition to being economically unwise and downright unfair, the Biden Administration’s Mass Debt Cancellation is yet another example in a long line of unlawful regulatory actions,” argued the plaintiffs in their filing.

The attorneys general spearheading the legal challenge also submit that “no statute permits President Biden to unilaterally relieve millions of individuals from their obligation to pay loans they voluntarily assumed.”

Biden, however, has argued that he is able to unilaterally cancel student debt to mitigate the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, writes National Review, a Department of Education memo released by his administration asserts that the HEROES Act,  which passed in 2003 and allows the secretary of education to provide student-debt relief “in connection with a war or other military operation or national emergency,” provides the legal basis for the cancellation.

But, National Review notes that the plaintiffs point out that Biden declared in a recent 60 Minutes interview that “the pandemic is over.”

The legal brief also adds:

“The [HEROES] Act requires ED [Education Department] to tailor any waiver or modification as necessary to address the actual financial harm suffered by a borrower due to the relevant military operation or emergency… This relief comes to every borrower regardless of whether her income rose or fell during the pandemic or whether she is in a better position today as to her student loans than before the pandemic.”

Moreover, they argue that the HEROES Act was designed to allow the secretary to provide relief in individual cases with proper justification.

The first lawsuit against Biden’s executive order came Tuesday from the Pacific Legal Foundation:

“The administration has created new problems for borrowers in at least six states that tax loan cancellation as income. People like Plaintiff Frank Garrison will actually be worse off because of the cancellation. Indeed, Mr. Garrison will face immediate tax liability from the state of Indiana because of the automatic cancellation of a portion of his debt,” wrote PLF in their own brief.

The state-led lawsuit was filed in a federal district court in Missouri, and asks that the court “temporarily restrain and preliminarily and permanently enjoin implementation and enforcement of the Mass Debt Cancellation,” and declare that it “violates the separation of powers established by the U.S. Constitution,” as well as the Administrative Procedure Act.

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