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Pelosi calls House back to act on Postal Service "sabotage"

Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Democrats on Sunday evening that the House will be called back from August recess — likely on Saturday, Axios is told — to act to "save the Postal Service."

Why it matters: Democratic lawmakers say they have been inundated with complaints about policy changes by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy that are disrupting the USPS ahead of an election that will see a record number of mail-in ballots. DeJoy is a former fundraiser for President Trump, who defended him this weekend.


Driving the news: In a "Dear Democratic Colleague" letter, Pelosi said: "Alarmingly, across the nation, we see the devastating effects of the President’s campaign to sabotage the election by manipulating the Postal Service to disenfranchise voters." 

  • Democrats say constituents are furious about news of the removal of high-speed sorting machines, unbolting of corner mailboxes, and a Postal Service warning to state that ballots may not be delivered in time to be counted.

Democrats plan to keep the issue highly visible, even before the unusual interruption of their time at home in the run-up to the election."

  • "To save the Postal Service," Pelosi wrote, "I am also calling upon Members to participate in a Day of Action on Tuesday by appearing at a Post Office in their districts for a press event."

The likely plan is for the House to travel back to Washington on Friday and convene on Saturday.

  • House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer is expected to announce the schedule on a members-only conference call with House Democrats on Monday at 11:30 a.m.
  • The expected starting point for action will be a measure introduced by House Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), "Delivering for America Act," which "would prohibit the Postal Service from dialing back levels of service it had in place on Jan. 1, until the pandemic ends.

The other side: Trump said this weekend DeJoy "wants to make the post office great again."

  • White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union": "I'll give you that guarantee right now. The president of the United States is not going to interfere with anybody casting their vote in a legitimate way, whether it's the post office or anything else."

Biden raises $141 million more than Trump

Joe Biden's campaign, the Democratic National Committee and joint fundraising committees raised $466 million cash on hand, the presidential candidate's team announced late Sunday.

Why it matters: President Trump's campaign raised $325 million, his campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh announced earlier Sunday.

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

Virtual Emmys address chaotic year for American TV and society

The Emmy Awards Sunday night addressed the major U.S. issues this year — including the protests on systemic racism and police brutality, the wildfires engulfing parts of the West Coast, the census, the pandemic, essential works and the election.

Why it matters: Award shows have always addressed wider cultural issues, but this year — amid unprecedented stress and uncertainty — that trend has accelerated.

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Arrest over Trump letter containing poison ricin

A suspect was arrested for allegedly "sending a suspicious letter" after law enforcement agents intercepted an envelope addressed to President Trump containing the poison ricin, the FBI confirmed in an emailed statement to Axios Sunday.

The big picture: Axios understands that the suspect, a woman, was arrested at the Canadian border while trying to enter New York.

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Trump campaign goes all in on Pennsylvania

The president's campaign is placing more importance on Pennsylvania amid growing concern that his chances of clinching Wisconsin are slipping, Trump campaign sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Pennsylvania, which has 20 electoral votes, twice Wisconsin's number, actually has been trending higher in recent public and internal polling, a welcome development for the campaign.

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Inside Joe Biden's Supreme Court strategy

Joe Biden’s closing argument will shift to a dominant emphasis on health care, turning the looming Supreme Court fight into a referendum on coverage and pre-existing conditions, officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: Biden aides believed they were winning when the race was about the coronavirus pandemic. Now they plan to use the Supreme Court opening as a raucous new field for a health care fight, returning to a theme that gave Democrats big midterm wins in 2018.

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Ginsburg death displaces violence in cities as dominant social media storyline

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Ruth Bader Ginsburg-related social media interactions dwarfed all other topics this week — a departure from a run of weeks where, other than the coronavirus, violence in cities was the dominant storyline.

The big picture: In just two days, there were 41 million interactions (likes, comments or shares) on stories about the late Supreme Court justice, according to exclusive NewsWhip data.

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Biden to Senate Republicans after RBG passing: "Please follow your conscience"

Joe Biden made a direct appeal to Senate Republicans in a speech addressing the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, urging them to "cool the flames that have been engulfing our country" by waiting to confirm her replacement until after the election.

The state of play: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said soon after the news of Ginsburg's death that President Trump's nominee would get a vote in the U.S. Senate by Election Day.

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Leaked Treasury documents reveal massive money laundering in global banking system

Thousands of leaked government documents covering at least $2 trillion worth of transactions reveal how some of the world's biggest banks knowingly moved around the money of oligarchs, terrorists and criminals, with few consequences, according to a massive investigation by BuzzFeed News, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and hundreds of other news organizations.

The big picture: The investigation, published on Sunday, examines more than 2,100 suspicious activity reports (SARs) filed by banks and other financial firms with the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, known as FinCEN.

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