08.16.20

Peters Calls for Urgent Senate Hearing on Postal Service Changes and Delivery Delays

DETROIT, MI – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, today called for an urgent hearing on August 21 or as soon as possible on recent changes Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has directed that have left Americans in Michigan and across the country struggling with delayed mail deliveries. In a letter to Chairman Ron Johnson (WI), Peters pressed for the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which has oversight of the U.S. Postal Service, to swiftly convene a hearing and call DeJoy and Robert Duncan, Chairman of the Postal Service Board of Governors, to give sworn testimony about recent directives and their effects on postal customers across the country.

“As the only Senate Committee with jurisdiction over the Postal Service, this Committee has a responsibility to examine Mr. DeJoy’s recent directives and their impacts on all Americans, who rely on the Postal Service for prescriptions, essential goods, voting, and other crucial purposes,” wrote Peters. “It is imperative that Mr. DeJoy publicly and comprehensively testify about changes and planned changes taking place at the U.S. Postal Service, since the Postal Service is a public institution that both serves and belongs to every person in our nation.”

Peters has used his leadership position on the committee to protect the Postal Service and its 245-year tradition of reliable, timely delivery. Last week, he launched an investigation into DeJoy’s operational changes and the slowdowns, delays and backlogs they are triggering in communities across the country after USPS provided misleading statements about the causes of the delays. Since launching his investigation, Peters has received nearly 7,000 complaints from people in Michigan and across the country who have seen significant and harmful mail delays under DeJoy’s tenure. Peters has also pressed DeJoy on how these changes are preventing veterans from receiving their prescription medications through the Department of Veterans Affairs’ mail-order pharmacy service. Earlier this week, Peters introduced legislation to block the Postmaster General from making any changes that would disrupt service for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The text of the letter is copied below and available here.

Dear Chairman Johnson:

I write to request a hearing on unacceptable changes taking place at the U.S. Postal Service that are slowing mail delivery and jeopardizing this crucial public service for veterans, small businesses, rural communities, seniors, and millions of Americans who rely on the mail.  I request that you use your authority as Chairman to call Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to testify before our Committee on August 21, or as soon as practicable.  I also request that you call Robert Duncan, Chairman of the Postal Service Board of Governors.  As the only Senate Committee with jurisdiction over the Postal Service, this Committee has a responsibility to examine Mr. DeJoy’s recent directives and their impacts on all Americans, who rely on the Postal Service for prescriptions, essential goods, voting, and other crucial purposes. 

Postmaster General DeJoy has refused to satisfactorily answer questions on the minds of Americans as they see severely increased mail delays under Mr. DeJoy’s leadership.  Mr. DeJoy has made significant changes to Postal Service operations since he began his tenure as Postmaster General, including a restructuring of the Postal Service’s operations, the reduction of overtime, the reduction of equipment at mail processing plants, the elimination of extra mail transportation trips, and the start of a pilot program for mail sorting and delivery policies at hundreds of post offices.  In addition, Congress has received daily reports of other changes at the Postal Service which Mr. DeJoy has not publicly discussed, including the reduction of hours at post offices, possible post office closures, removing mail collection boxes, shortages of stamps and other materials, and more.

It is imperative that Mr. DeJoy publicly and comprehensively testify about changes and planned changes taking place at the U.S. Postal Service, since the Postal Service is a public institution that both serves and belongs to every person in our nation.  I look forward to your reply to this request.

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