08.10.20

Peters, Lawrence Visit USPS Metroplex in Pontiac, Highlight Impact of Postal Service Delays on Michiganders

Public Can Share Stories of Unexpected or Persistent Mail Delays at Peters.Senate.Gov/Postal

DETROIT, MI – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) and U.S. Representative Brenda Lawrence (MI-14) today visited the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) Metroplex facility in Pontiac. While there, the lawmakers toured the facility, met with workers and discussed operations during the pandemic as well as the impact of Postal Service delays on Michiganders across the state.

“The Postal Service should not slow down mail or in any way compromise service – especially during a pandemic – but that’s exactly what we’re hearing is happening. Recent USPS changes to operations have resulted in mail delays for Michiganders who rely on timely delivery for vital prescriptions, critical packages, paychecks, and to do business,” said Senator Peters, Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “That’s why I launched an investigation into these troubling service changes directed by the President’s new Postmaster General. The Postal Service is the only organization that reliably delivers to every address in our state and across the nation, and I will keep fighting to ensure that Michiganders can depend on timely mail service.”

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the country, the Postal Service has become an integral part of Americans’ daily lives,” said Rep. Lawrence. “In the middle of an election year, the Postal Service will be counted on to deliver ballots to millions of Americans seeking to exercise their constitutional right to vote in our elections, however recent actions taken by the Trump administration and newly-appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy threaten the Postal Service’s ability to do just that. This is not just about safely participating in our elections and completing the 2020 Census; the Postal Service continues to deliver essential medical supplies, packages, and parcels to consumers across the country. The Postal Service is not a political weapon that can be used to satisfy President Trump’s unfounded conspiracies against vote-by-mail, and any actions to do so are a direct affront to the Postal Service’s standing as an independent service for the American people. I will continue to work with my colleagues on the Committee on Oversight and Reform, as well as Senator Peters, to protect the United States Postal Service and every Americans’ right to vote.”

“Some of the policies being put in place are severely hurting the Postal Service and are delaying mail being sent to people in Michigan and across the country,” said Roscoe Woods, President, Union American Postal Workers Union Local 480-481. “Postal workers have constantly delivered mail in our nation’s history: through wars, rain, snow hurricanes, tornadoes – and even pandemics. People trust the Postal Service because we can deliver – and we can continue to do in the future but there need to be policies and procedures in place to allow it. I thank Senator Peters and Congresswoman Lawrence for visiting the Pontiac metroplex today, and I’m going to keep working with them to get to the bottom of these policy changes slowing down mail delivery.”

“For 245 years, the Postal Service has delivered to each and every person in this country. We are a service that customers rely on – and we rely on them,” said Carl Blassingame, President, Michigan State Association of Letter Carriers. “These delays have only started to happen very recently – and they’ve happened very suddenly. The question is why – and that’s something Senator Peters is working to find out. Letter carriers are proud of the work they do, and we can’t have the work they do be undermined.”

“My husband is a veteran who receives his medicine through the VA. Usually it takes 3 days – but last time took 12 days which left us 3 days short so he wasn’t able to take his medicine,” said Michele Brown, resident of Morley, MI. “These Postal Service delays are a serious problem – and in cases can be life or death. In rural Michigan, we expect mail, we live by the mail – and the Postal Service is often our only resource instead of having to drive far away to pick up prescription drugs and other necessities. I’m glad Senator Peters is looking into these delays because they affect me and so many others in Michigan.”

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As Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Peters recently launched an investigation into reported delays at the USPS that are preventing Michiganders from receiving and sending mail, including prescription drugs, business mail, and mail-in ballots. As part of his investigation, Peters is asking for individuals, small businesses and organizations who are directly affected by Postal Service delays or operational changes to share their stories. Members of the public can report problems by visiting www.peters.senate.gov/postal

Lawrence, who joined Peters on the tour, serves on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform which has jurisdiction over the Postal Service and previously served for over three decades as a USPS employee.

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