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Reed: Senate’s adjournment ‘completely unacceptable’

Photo by Cameron Hurst U.S. Rep. Tom Reed visited the James Prendergast Library Friday morning to learn about how the library has coped after having to shut down due to COVID-19.

U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, called the Senate’s decision to adjourn until September without brokering a coronavirus relief package and stimulus plan “completely unacceptable” during a visit to the James Prendergast Library on Friday morning.

Reed, who represents New York’s 23rd congressional district, told The Post-Journal that the stalemate in Washington is hurting Americans across multiple industries, explaining that during his car ride to Jamestown, he spent an hour on a conference call with White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, along with other colleagues in the Problem Solvers Caucus.

“One of the things we’ve done has reached out as these talks broke down is to send a message that many of us, both sides of the aisle, especially our Problem Solvers caucus, to the White House that we want to be helpful in helping the negotiators get back into the room,” he said. “I appreciate (Meadows’) convening that call for us and spending an hour’s worth of time going through where the potential differences are and really, there is a lot of common ground.”

The problem in the nation’s capital, Reed noted, is that “no one trusts anybody.”

“We in the Problem Solvers caucus — we’re wired to talk to each other,” he said. “We are a group of members that listen to each other, respect each other and at the end of the day, we want to put the country first. I appreciated the conversation, it was a candid conversation and bottom line is the message to our leadership is, on both sides of the aisle, is that if you’re not willing to lead and do what’s right for the American people, get out of the way because there is a group of us that will.”

The caucus, he noted, also has a good, established relationship with Meadows, the former representative from North Carolina’s 11th congressional district.

“I served with him and I think our reputation as a member who is a proud Republican who wants to get something done and I appreciate that type of relationship,” Reed said. “It allows us to have these conversations within 48 hours and 24 hours of putting folks together. That’s helpful to have those relationships to lean upon especially now.”

Reed also voiced his disagreement with President Donald Trump’s telling reporters on Thursday that he opposed funding for the United States Postal Service due to its use for mail-in voting.

“I respectfully disagree with regard to the president’s position on the Postal Service and his comments (Thursday),” he said. “I have been a proud supporter of the Postal Service for years. We have a long track record of supporting it. … The Postal Service is something that’s in the U.S. Constitution. We come at it from a perspective of, especially in a rural district, that we rely on the Postal Service for medicine, being the heart of the community where people go and get their mail, but more importantly to get the information as to what’s going on in the community. We’re going to continue being in support of the Postal Service.”

He did, however, understand Trump’s concern over voter fraud, but was confident that comes as the result of “bad actors” and not the Postal Service.

“The message should be sent to those folks: you can engage in voter fraud and you’re going to go to jail for a significant period of time,” he said. “When it comes to Postal Service and delivering ballots, the voice of the people should be respected and I believe that given the nature of COVID-19, whatever tools in order to get your voice to the ballot should be promoted and disincentivized.”

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