United States Postmaster General Louis DeJoy says he will not implement controversial cost-saving measures until after the election to “avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail.”
However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says that is “not a solution and is misleading.”
In a statement about a recent conversation with DeJoy, she said, “This morning, I spoke with Postmaster General DeJoy and conveyed to him that his announcement is not a solution and is misleading.”
“The Postmaster General’s alleged pause is wholly insufficient and does not reverse damage already wreaked. The Postmaster General frankly admitted that he had no intention of replacing the sorting machines, blue mailboxes and other key mail infrastructure that have been removed and that plans for adequate overtime, which is critical for the timely delivery of mail, are not in the works. All of these changes directly jeopardize the election and disproportionately threaten to disenfranchise voters in communities of color.”
On Friday, it was reported that the USPS was planning on removing more than 600 mail sorting machines in the months leading up to the 2020 presidential election, as IJR reported.
In a statement, the postal service defended its decision to remove the machines by noting that the agency “routinely moves equipment around its network as necessary to match changing mail and package volumes.”
“Package volume is up, but mail volume continues to decline. Adapting our processing infrastructure to the current volumes will ensure more efficient, cost-effective operations and better service for our customers,” it added.
“At the same time, we are highly concerned that the slowdown of the delivery of medicines to veterans is not being sufficiently addressed,” Pelosi continued in her statement.
House Democrats are expected to pass a $25 billion bill to fund the postal service in the run-up to the election. Pelosi continued, “The Postal Service is Election Central during the pandemic, and Democrats will not allow the President to force Americans to choose between their health and their vote.”
On Tuesday, DeJoy announced he would suspend his new operational changes until after the election, as IJR reported. In a statement, he said, “To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded.”
He clarified that hours of operation will not be changed, overtime will be allowed, and that processing centers will not be shutdown. Despite Pelosi’s claim, he said that the blue collection boxes and mail sorting machines will not be removed.
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