Connolly, Senior Democrats Request Information on Postal Service’s Operational Changes

Today, senior Democrats on the Committee on Oversight and Reform sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy requesting information on two documents that appear to outline drastic changes to United States Postal Service operations.

Today’s letter was signed by Subcommittee on Government Operations Chairman Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Subcommittee on National Security Chairman Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, and Committee Member Brenda L. Lawrence.

“We are writing to request information about operational changes at the U.S. Postal Service that could have negative impacts on service standards and cause significant delays in mail delivery,” the Members wrote.  “It is vital that the U.S. Postal Service not reduce mail delivery times, which could harm rural communities, seniors, small businesses, and millions of Americans who rely on mail.”

On July 14, 2020, two documents were made public that appeared to outline significant changes to USPS operations. The first document details a number of operational changes that “will be implemented in short order.”

The changes include eliminating overtime and allowing mail to go undelivered due to staffing shortages.  The document goes on to state that these measures are aimed at cutting costs and “making the USPS financially solvent.”

While the Members share the goal of ensuring the Postal Service’s solvency, the rhetoric used in the document compares the Postal Service to a private company concerned only with the bottom line, rather than the constitutionally mandated public service that it is.

The second document details limits on extra mail delivery trips amid other transportation changes, implying that mail may be “left behind” or “on the workroom floor or docks” as a result of these changes.

“While these changes in a normal year would be drastic, in a presidential election year when many states are relying heavily on absentee mail-in ballots, increases in mail delivery timing would impair the ability of ballots to be received and counted in a timely manner—an unacceptable outcome for a free and fair election,” added the Members.

In addition to the swift nature and negative impacts of these reported changes, the Postal Service did not consult with any relevant unions, the mailing and package industry, or relevant Members of Congress who are in ongoing negotiations over additional financial support and possible reform legislation for the Postal Service before taking these drastic actions.

The Members requested a response by July 31, 2020.

Click here to read today’s letter.