Four Senate Democrats are pressing the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) over complaints about slow deliver since Postmaster General Louis DeJoy took over in June amid concerns a backlog could impact tallying mail-in ballots in November.
Sens. Gary PetersGary Charles PetersTrump may have power, but he still has no plan to fight the pandemic100 Days: Democrats see clear path to Senate majorityHillicon Valley: Feds warn hackers targeting critical infrastructure | Twitter exploring subscription service | Bill would give DHS cyber agency subpoena powerMORE (D-Mich.), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharGOP sparks backlash after excluding election funds from COVID-19 billHillicon Valley: Feds warn hackers targeting critical infrastructure | Twitter exploring subscription service | Bill would give DHS cyber agency subpoena powerDemocratic senators call for ‘thorough and comprehensive’ review of Google’s Fitbit acquisitionMORE (D-Minn.), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperBarrasso nuclear bill latest GOP effort to boost uranium miningLawmakers weigh increased telework as some agencies push federal workers back to the officeSenate report says Russian oligarchs evading U.S. sanctions through big-ticket art purchasesMORE (D-Del.) and Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerLincoln Project targets Senate races in Alaska, Maine, Montana with M ad buyPelosi, Schumer say GOP Senate coronavirus bill is ‘selling out working families’The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Presented by Facebook – Barr’s showdown with House DemocratsMORE (D-N.Y.) sent a letter to DeJoy demanding he explain new changes he implemented this month, saying theyve heard concerns from their constituents over USPSs quality of service. They also dinged the postmaster general for not responding to a letter Peters sent him earlier this month.
It is essential that the Postal Service not slow down mail or in any way compromise service for veterans, small businesses, rural communities, seniors, and millions of Americans who rely on the mail including significant numbers who will be relying on the Postal Service to exercise their right to vote, they wrote.
However, your failure to provide Congress with relevant information about these recent changes or to clarify to postal employees what changes you have directed as Postmaster General, undermines public trust and only increases concerns that service compromises will grow in advance of the election and peak mail volumes in November,” they added.
The senators asked DeJoy to offer a full explanation for each change hes implemented, provide a list of all processing centers and post offices that have implemented operational changes, and clarify what effect the changes had on service performance. They demanded a response by Aug. 4.
The letter comes after reports surfaced earlier this month highlighting changes DeJoy made that sparked fears of delivery delays. Among other things, DeJoy told employees to leave mail at distribution centers if delivery of the packages would delay letter carriers from their routes, a measure he defended as a cost-cutting measure.
The USPS currently finds itself in a deep financial hole, seeing its coffers deplete in the age of emails and social media.
In making any changes to Postal Service operations, you should carefully study their service impacts, costs, and other factors in advance, and implement them in a clear and well-documented manner, with the cooperation of unions and key postal stakeholders,” the senators wrote. “It is unacceptable to implement broad and non-transparent changes that may slow down service during a pandemic, when the Postal Services capacity as an essential agency is already strained, the senators wrote.
The move brought on accusations that DeJoy, a North Carolina logistics executive who has donated millions to Republican committees in recent years, is working as a political ally of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump campaign cancels ad buys to review messaging strategy: reportNunes declines to answer if he received information from Ukraine lawmaker meant to damage BidenPoll: Plurality of ‘Gen Z’ voters say they see more political ads from Trump than BidenMORE.
Trump has railed against mail-in ballots, arguing without evidence that they are particularly susceptible to fraud and suggested this week that the Nov. 3 election be delayed.
A Postal Service spokesman told Reuters the agency is taking immediate steps to increase operational efficiency by re-emphasizing existing plans that have been designed to provide prompt and reliable service within current service standards.