<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="President Trump offered a broadside against the beleaguered Post Office in the Oval Office on Friday. “The Postal Service is a joke,” he said. Trump’s longstanding grudge surfaced anew: the rates the USPS charges giant companies, especially Amazon, is too low, Trump says.” data-reactid=”16″>President Trump offered a broadside against the beleaguered Post Office in the Oval Office on Friday. “The Postal Service is a joke,” he said. Trump’s longstanding grudge surfaced anew: the rates the USPS charges giant companies, especially Amazon, is too low, Trump says.

Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), the union that represents urban mail carriers, appeared on Yahoo Finance a fews hours later and responded.

“I would say the administration is grossly misinformed with regard to postal finances before the pandemic and during the pandemic,” said Rolando. “The Postal Service and its employees are absolutely no joke.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Trump’s claim about the service being in financial trouble because of low rates, which has previously been refuted by fact checkers, is part of a surging debate in Washington likely to come to a head in the coming weeks as officials weigh helping the Postal Service using either existing authority or as part of another stimulus package.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”19″>Trump’s claim about the service being in financial trouble because of low rates, which has previously been refuted by fact checkers, is part of a surging debate in Washington likely to come to a head in the coming weeks as officials weigh helping the Postal Service using either existing authority or as part of another stimulus package. 

Trump was unequivocal on Friday: “If they don’t raise the price, I’m not signing anything” he said.

US President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks after signing the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on April 24, 2020. - The $483 billion stimulus act will back small businesses on the brink of bankruptcy, and allocate more money for health-care providers and virus testing. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)US President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks after signing the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on April 24, 2020. - The $483 billion stimulus act will back small businesses on the brink of bankruptcy, and allocate more money for health-care providers and virus testing. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
President Trump spoke after signing the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act on Friday (OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

<h2 class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The USPS ‘doesn’t need more debt’” data-reactid=”32″>The USPS ‘doesn’t need more debt’

The U.S. Postal Service, which is run as an independent federal agency and generally doesn’t take federal money, has been facing economic hardships in recent years and the current crisis is threatening to push it over the edge.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“We need to start thinking in those apocalyptic terms,” Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who oversees the Post Office, said in a recent Yahoo Finance interview, “because we are about to face the apocalypse.”” data-reactid=”34″>“We need to start thinking in those apocalyptic terms,” Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who oversees the Post Office, said in a recent Yahoo Finance interview, “because we are about to face the apocalypse.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Mail volume (and the accompanying revenue) could be down 50% this year, according to some estimates, and Connelly predicts they could run out of money by this summer.” data-reactid=”35″>Mail volume (and the accompanying revenue) could be down 50% this year, according to some estimates, and Connelly predicts they could run out of money by this summer.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The most recent stimulus package included some help: $10 billion in additional borrowing authority.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”36″>The most recent stimulus package included some help: $10 billion in additional borrowing authority. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Congressional Democrats say Trump personally removed the more generous provisions from the bill during negotiations. The NALC called the conditional line of credit a “slap in the face” and Connolly said it’s unacceptable.” data-reactid=”37″>Congressional Democrats say Trump personally removed the more generous provisions from the bill during negotiations. The NALC called the conditional line of credit a “slap in the face” and Connolly said it’s unacceptable.

A mailman wearing a mask and gloves to protect himself and others from COVID-19, known as coronavirus, loads a postal truck with packages at a United States Postal Service (USPS) post office location in Washington, DC, April 16, 2020. - For many Americans, checking the mailbox is a daily ritual, a constant in a quickly changing world that can yield anything from wedding invitations to tax audits to new clothes. But as with many ordinary things as the coronavirus crisis unfolds, the US Postal Service -- already compromised by a mountain of debt -- has a most uncertain future. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)A mailman wearing a mask and gloves to protect himself and others from COVID-19, known as coronavirus, loads a postal truck with packages at a United States Postal Service (USPS) post office location in Washington, DC, April 16, 2020. - For many Americans, checking the mailbox is a daily ritual, a constant in a quickly changing world that can yield anything from wedding invitations to tax audits to new clothes. But as with many ordinary things as the coronavirus crisis unfolds, the US Postal Service -- already compromised by a mountain of debt -- has a most uncertain future. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
Postal employees have continued to work thoughout the pandemic. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

“The Postal Service doesn’t need more debt,” Rolando said. “What they need is to be in a position that they were in before the virus, after the virus.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The loan money is controversial because it comes with strings attached. On Thursday, the Washington Post published a story reporting that the Trump administration “is considering taking unprecedented control over key operations of the U.S. Postal Service,” using the line of credit as leverage.” data-reactid=”50″>The loan money is controversial because it comes with strings attached. On Thursday, the Washington Post published a story reporting that the Trump administration “is considering taking unprecedented control over key operations of the U.S. Postal Service,” using the line of credit as leverage.

“We are going to put certain criteria for a postal reform program as part of the loan,” Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said on Friday.

Hours after his remarks, Trump followed up with a tweet that clarified he would “never let our Post Office fail.”

<h2 class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Will there be help in a ‘phase 4’ deal?” data-reactid=”55″>Will there be help in a ‘phase 4’ deal?

The partisan divide appears to be around what “saving” the Postal Service means. Democrats – and many other USPS allies – want to forget the $10 billion loan and simply give money to the service.

They hope to eliminate the USPS’s outstanding debt and allocate $25 billion to shore up its finances. There is also a push to repeal a rule requiring the Postal Service to pre-fund retirement health benefits for employees.

“The rates for parcels are not the issue during this virus,” Rolando said about the president’s demands. “The issue is the loss of the letter volume and the revenue that comes along with that.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Rolando said that, for his members, he just wants an appropriation to fill the hole caused by the broad economic shutdown. Rolando worked as a letter carrier in Florida beginning in the late 1970s, and became the 18th president of the NALC in 2009.” data-reactid=”63″>Rolando said that, for his members, he just wants an appropriation to fill the hole caused by the broad economic shutdown. Rolando worked as a letter carrier in Florida beginning in the late 1970s, and became the 18th president of the NALC in 2009.

<h2 class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="A battle made more complicated by vote by mail” data-reactid=”64″>A battle made more complicated by vote by mail

The issue at the core of all this back and forth, for many, is the Postal Service’s possible role in the fall election. 

Democrats are pushing for increased vote by mail efforts to allow people to vote even if the coronavirus is still limiting large gatherings of people. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has said that “in this next bill, we are going to have to do the Postal Service,” adding it was “directly related” to the vote-by-mail initiative.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The President has repeatedly stood against increasing voting-by-mail efforts recently, saying “mailed ballots are corrupt, in my opinion.” (It’s another claim that fact checkers have criticized.)” data-reactid=”67″>The President has repeatedly stood against increasing voting-by-mail efforts recently, saying “mailed ballots are corrupt, in my opinion.” (It’s another claim that fact checkers have criticized.)

UNITED STATES - APRIL 24: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., conducts a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center shortly before President Trump signed an additional COVID-19 relief package on Friday, April 24, 2020. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)UNITED STATES - APRIL 24: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., conducts a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center shortly before President Trump signed an additional COVID-19 relief package on Friday, April 24, 2020. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Speaker Pelosi criticized Trump on Friday saying his plan is “no money for the Post Office, instead inject Lysol into your lung.” (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="He has also expressed concern for what the changes to the voting system would mean for Republican electoral prospects. “The things they had in there were crazy,” Trump said while discussing Democratic initiatives stripped out of the phase 3 deal. “They had things — levels of voting that, if you ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”” data-reactid=”79″>He has also expressed concern for what the changes to the voting system would mean for Republican electoral prospects. “The things they had in there were crazy,” Trump said while discussing Democratic initiatives stripped out of the phase 3 deal. “They had things — levels of voting that, if you ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”

The effort to turn the country towards vote-by-mail has also been an animating issue for Democrats. Speaking of the Post Office, Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez recently said, “people are hypothesizing that maybe [Trump] wants it to to be compromised heading into the fall.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, went even further during a fundraiser Thursday. “Imagine threatening not to fund the Post Office. Now what in God’s name is that about?” he said, according to the pool report. Biden said he thought Trump could try to push back the election because “that’s the only way he thinks he can possibly win.”” data-reactid=”81″>Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, went even further during a fundraiser Thursday. “Imagine threatening not to fund the Post Office. Now what in God’s name is that about?” he said, according to the pool report. Biden said he thought Trump could try to push back the election because “that’s the only way he thinks he can possibly win.”

Rolando offers that his members will help with whatever the states decide about mail-in-voting. “We stand ready to expand our long-standing role in that process,” he said.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Ben Werschkul is a producer for Yahoo Finance in Washington, DC.” data-reactid=”83″>Ben Werschkul is a producer for Yahoo Finance in Washington, DC.

Read more:

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Coronavirus-spurred fights over vote-by-mail and the Post Office are coming to Congress” data-reactid=”85″>Coronavirus-spurred fights over vote-by-mail and the Post Office are coming to Congress

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="How coronavirus could be the ‘final straw’ for the U.S Postal Service” data-reactid=”86″>How coronavirus could be the ‘final straw’ for the U.S Postal Service

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Read the latest financial and business news from Yahoo Finance” data-reactid=”87″>Read the latest financial and business news from Yahoo Finance

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Follow Yahoo Finance on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flipboard, LinkedIn, YouTube, and reddit.” data-reactid=”88″>Follow Yahoo Finance on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flipboard, LinkedIn, YouTube, and reddit.