Green River Star -

Our View: Senate is a major source of disappointment

 

August 19, 2020



There’s a lot to be disappointed in when it comes to the U.S. Senate and, by extension, Wyoming’s two senators.

After discussions regarding a second pandemic response bill fell through, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell adjourned the Senate until September. Any bill focused on pandemic relief for Americans will likely not be approved until then, unless something spurs the Senate to go back to Washington, D.C. This means additional unemployment funding to people who lost their job during the pandemic have stalled, which include quite a few people in Wyoming. Wyoming’s June unemployment rate was 7.6% according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is down from a peak of 9.6% in April, but still more than double the 3.7% recorded at the start of the year. A lot of people have relied on that extra unemployment relief funding and the need is especially high now that schools have opened back up.

In itself, this is a bad situation, but when coupled with the sudden issues related to the handling of mail through the U.S. Postal Service, this adjournment become unacceptable. According to multiple news sources, the USPS has either removed or locked mail collection boxes in multiple states. Reports of sorting machines being removed and other measures to hamper the ability of the post office have also surfaced.

Wyoming is in a unique situation when it comes to the post office, as the rural nature of the state means it relies on the postal service for basic deliveries more than others. Yet, on Sen. John Barrasso and Sen. Mike Enzi’s websites, you won’t see any statements about postal service concerns. Three news releases are on Barrasso’s site, consisting of statements about the lifting of duplicated EPA rules, telehealth executive action and complaints about the “Democrats’ wild, willful, wasteful spending.” Enzi’s site has the same EPA release and a second statement about a bill to protect livestock producers. Nothing about the post office.

Say what you want about the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives and how they don’t represent Wyoming values -- and there are a lot of people around here that will. However, at least they’ve returned to address the post office issue. If the Senate were at Capitol Hill right now, negotiations could continue for a second pandemic relief bill. But that probably won’t happen, which is the biggest disappointment of all. We deserve better than what we’re seeing from the Senate. Wyoming certainly deserves better.

 

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