President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he would block new funding for the US Postal Service because of mail-in voting, which he has claimed — without evidence — benefits Democrats.
He later walked back the comment, saying, "If the bill isn't going to get done, it means the post office isn't going to get funded."
Blocking USPS funding could harm older Americans who rely on the service to deliver medications.
Trump also promised to scrap the payroll tax if he's reelected. The payroll tax funds Social Security and Medicaid, which many Americans 65 and older rely on.
President Donald Trump on Thursday said he'd block new funding for the US Postal Service to limit efforts to expand mail-in voting, which he has claimed — without evidence — benefits Democrats.
"Now they need that money in order to make the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots," he said in an interview with Fox Business Network, adding that if it didn't get the money, "that means you can't have universal mail-in voting, because they're not equipped to have it."
—Rep. Ted Deutch (@RepTedDeutch) August 13, 2020
Trump walked these comments back at an evening press briefing, saying, "If the bill isn't going to get done, it means the post office isn't going to get funded."
But a lack of funding for the USPS doesn't just affect mail-in voting.
It also means that some older Americans who get their prescriptions in the mail will see them delayed.
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This is the second blow Trump has dealt Americans 65 and older — who'll represent 23% of registered voters in November, the highest share since at least 1970, according to Pew — in a matter of days.
ConnectingVets reported that 80% of Department of Veterans Affairs prescriptions are fulfilled by mail and that almost 500,000 prescriptions are processed daily by the Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy.
In a 2013 survey published by the National Community Pharmacists Association, 20% of respondents over 40 said they exclusively got their medications by mail order.
Trump also recently pledged to scrap the payroll tax if he were reelected.
"If I'm victorious on November 3, I plan to forgive these taxes and make permanent cuts to the payroll tax," Trump said at a press conference on Saturday. "I'm going to make them all permanent."
He later said: "In other words, I'll extend it beyond the end of the year and terminate the tax. So we'll see what happens."
The payroll tax is used to fund Social Security and Medicare, the federal health-insurance program for people over 65 and for younger Americans with disabilities.
In an April Gallup poll, 58% of retirees surveyed said Social Security was a "major source" of income for them.
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