After Call With PMG DeJoy, Schumer Lays Out Series Of Key Questions On USPS Plans To Suspend Harmful Operational Changes Following Pressure From Dems And American PublicAugust 19, 2020
Schumer Questions Postmaster General On Removal Of Sorting Machines And USPS Blue Collection Boxes
Washington, D.C.—Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today released a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, sent as follow up to their Tuesday, August 18th phone conversation regarding DeJoy’s decision to halt some operational changes at the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) until after the November election following pressure from Democrats and the American people.
In the letter, Leader Schumer reiterates that DeJoy and President Trump’s statements about cutbacks in mail delivery and about mail-in voting have greatly eroded public trust. Leader Schumer asks for answers to a series of questions, including: what operational initiatives and changes will be paused between now and Election Day and what changes will continue through this period; whether DeJoy will commit to returning to the USPS practice of treating all election mail as First Class; whether the USPS will replace mail processing equipment and blue collection boxes removed in some locations across the country; and whether the USPS conducted an analysis on the impact of its numerous operational changes on veterans and others who depend on timely delivery of medical prescriptions.
Leader Schumer’s follow-up letter to Postmaster General DeJoy can be found here and below:
Dear Postmaster DeJoy:
I am writing to follow-up on our phone call on Tuesday, August 18 regarding your decision to halt some operational changes at the U.S. Postal Service (“USPS”) until after the November election. As I said during our call, there is a lot of mistrust between the American public and the USPS right now because of statements you and President Trump have made about cutbacks in mail delivery during the COVID-19 public health emergency, and about mail-in voting through Election Day. Therefore, I am asking for specific responses to the following questions:
1. Please describe specifically what operational initiatives and changes you will be pausing between now and Election Day. What changes do you plan to continue with during this period?
2. Your statement mentioned nothing about treating all election mail as First Class mail, regardless of whether it was sent at the non-profit rate of 20 cents. As you know, this issue is of great concern to Secretaries of State and Board of Elections across the country. Will you commit to returning to the USPS practice of treating all election mail as First Class?
3. In your statement, you state that prior to the election, no mail processing facilities will be closed and that mail processing equipment and blue collection boxes will remain where they are. However, over the last week there has been documentation that mail processing equipment and blue collection boxes have already removed in some locations around the country. Will USPS replace those items?
4. Please provide a list of all of the locations where mail processing equipment and blue collection boxes have been removed over the past two weeks, indicating which equipment or boxes were removed, and any accompanying analysis on how this will impact mail delivery in those areas.
5. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently confirmed that medical prescriptions mailed by the U.S. Postal Service have seen delays of nearly 25% this year. In order to mitigate these delays the VA has indicated it has resorted to alternative delivery services, such as UPS and FedEx, in several areas across the country in order to expedite shipping for medications. Before the USPS moved forward with numerous operational changes, did it conduct an analysis on how they would impact veterans and others who depend on timely delivery of medical prescriptions? What steps is the USPS taking to address delayed delivery of medical prescriptions administered by the VA’s mail order pharmacy?
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.