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Senator Tillis Must Demand Answers As USPS Delays Are Still In Question

Despite public walkback of Postal Service cuts this week by Senator Thom Tillis donor and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, several questions remain about what DeJoy’s reversal will actually mean for North Carolinians who have been harmed by the cuts. Following outcry from veterans and those living in rural communities that life-saving medication and essential mail was being delayed, and USPS cost-cutting measures threatened the ability for North Carolinians to mail in their ballot during a pandemic, DeJoy seemed to walk back his cost-cutting measures this week. 

However, many lawmakers have questioned what exactly DeJoy’s reversal will mean for the American public saying “his announcement is not a solution and is misleading,” after DeJoy reportedly told them he has “no intention of replacing the sorting machines, blue mailboxes and other key mail infrastructure that have been removed.” In Charlotte, seven mail sorting machines from a postal facility near the Charlotte Douglas International Airport were removed. 

Tillis must do his job and demand answers from the USPS on behalf of North Carolinians who have been harmed by these cuts. 

In a letter to the editor this week, a Marine Corps veteran from Sanford, North Carolina, wrote: “Because of the willful slowdown of the U.S. Postal Service initiated by the executive branch and the postmaster general, I was out of a crucial medication for 10 days. My blood sugar reached catastrophic levels. I am not willing to die so President Trump can suppress the vote. I ask Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis to please restore the funding and equipment to the USPS without delay.” 

Postal workers are also raising concerns that “mail has been piling up, causing delays for rural communities,” and postal offices “are short people, because they’re not hiring.”

As DeJoy is set to testify in front of the U.S. Senate tomorrow, Cal Cunningham’s campaign released five questions that Senator Tillis should demand answers on to make sure the USPS reverses policies that are causing a delay for veterans and rural communities, and commit to ensuring ballots are received in a timely manner. 

Senator Tillis has a duty to serve the people of North Carolina, stand up to DeJoy, and do his job to ensure politics aren’t getting in the way of the essential role that the USPS plays in people’s lives and the election this fall.

USA Today: USPS head has no plans to replace sorting machines or reverse other Postal Service changes, Pelosi says

By Nicholas Wu – August 20, 2020 

  • The head of the U.S. Postal Service has no plans to reverse changes to infrastructure that lawmakers feared could disrupt mail-in voting in November, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.  
  • Pelosi said she spoke with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Wednesday and told him “his announcement is not a solution and is misleading.”
  • “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,” she said.
  • The Postal Service deferred comment on the meeting with Pelosi to DeJoy’s statement Tuesday announcing a pause in changes until after the election. DeJoy’s statement did not address whether changes already in place would be reversed.

Washington Post: Postal problems could continue despite suspension of policies blamed for mail delays

By Todd C. Frankel – August 19, 2020

  • Dennis Beach began noticing the delays in July. That’s when the mail-order prescriptions needed to treat his high blood pressure and help him sleep at night started arriving late from a Department of Veterans Affairs pharmacy. A five-day delay. Even two weeks, he says. It has been nerve-racking at times waiting for the mail carrier to arrive.
  • The political heat of the summer of 2020 — filled with worries about mail-in voting — has thrown the Postal Service into crisis. The agency’s reputation, the best of any federal agency, is now at stake as Americans more loudly voice their frustration about delayed prescriptions, late bills and undelivered packages, along with fears of alleged political interference by a new Republican postmaster general and President Trump, compromising not just everyday mail but also mail-in ballots this fall.
  • Reports of postal problems surged in recent weeks and appeared to run from rural routes in the nation’s heartland to cities up and down both coasts. Antidepressants suddenly held up in the mail for nine days on Long Island. A roof warranty claim in California that did not reach its destination in time. Complaints have poured in to politicians. The office of Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) office said this week that it has received more than 15,000 letters about mail delivery concerns.
  • “We’re getting horrible reports out there,” said Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union. “It’s very discouraging.”
  • The question now is whether the problems will abate after Louis DeJoy, the new postmaster general, suspended on Tuesday actions the Postal Service was undertaking, including removing mail sorting machines and limiting overtime, that had been blamed for exacerbating delays.
  • Such concerns intensified after DeJoy, a top Trump ally, became postmaster general earlier this year. DeJoy this summer took actions described as getting the agency on firmer financial footing, including limiting overtime, post office hours, extra delivery trips and other steps the service had traditionally taken to ensure timely delivery.
  • Trump has acknowledged that he is seeking to limit the Postal Service’s ability to deliver ballots this fall.
  • Facing public outcry, congressional scrutiny and lawsuits by states, the Postal Service announced Tuesday that it is suspending cost-cutting moves until at least after the November election.
  • Postal workers, too, have noticed new problems.
  • Lori Cash, who works at a post office outside Buffalo, said mail has been piling up, causing delays for rural communities.
  • “We’re seeing some Zip codes that haven’t received mail in a couple days,” she said.
  • In Tampa, postal clerk Annette Castro said mail is not being delivered as quickly as it used to be. She attributed the problems to DeJoy’s order that mail delivery trucks depart on time rather than waiting for all of that day’s mail to be loaded.
  • “Mail is being left on the dock,” Castro said. “We are short people, because they’re not hiring. I do see mail starting to get backed up.”