WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Tom Carper (D-DE) introduced legislation to protect the longstanding tradition of reliable delivery service at the U.S. Postal Service and block the new Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, from making any abrupt operational changes that might harm service during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Peters has been leading the charge to demand answers on recent operational changes that have negatively affected delivery service for Americans in Michigan and across the country. After receiving misleading information from the Postal Service, Peters launched an investigation into reported delays at the U.S. Postal Service that are preventing Americans from receiving critical mail on-time.
“People in Michigan and across the country expect their mail to be delivered through any conditions – but they never want it to be slow,” said Senator Peters. “The changes put in place by the new Postmaster General are undermining reliable service at a time when many Americans are relying on the Postal Service to keep them connected and get critical supplies. This bill will help ensure that people and small businesses can continue to count on the Postal Service to be a dependable lifeline during these challenging and uncertain times.”
“Our country is in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic which has made millions of Americans more reliant on the Postal Service than ever before,” said Senator Carper. “Families are ordering necessities online rather than having to go out to crowded stores. Small businesses that have already taken a huge hit during this economic crisis are depending on the Postal Service to ship their products. Seniors and veterans are getting their prescription medications by mail. Rural communities are counting on the Postal Service to stay connected. And a record number of voters are looking to the Postal Service to ensure that their voices are heard in the upcoming election. Now is the worst possible time to implement secretive and disruptive changes to this critical agency that will in any way compromise the effective and efficient services on which so many Americans depend. I’m glad to join Ranking Member Peters to introduce legislation that ensures that the Postal Service — an institution that can trace its roots back to 1775 during the Second Continental Congress — is not used as a political pawn or undermined at a time when it is particularly critical for Americans’ safety.”
The Delivering for America Act would protect the Postal Service at a time when people, including seniors, veterans, small businesses and rural residents, are relying on regular, on-time deliveries to get their prescription drugs, paychecks and bills, connect with customers, and more. The bill specifies that the Postal Service shall not implement or approve any change to its operations that would impede prompt, reliable, and efficient services during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The bill extends these requirement through at least January 1, 2021, or longer if the public health emergency is extended.
The bill prohibits any sweeping changes to Postal Service delivery standards during this time including:
- any change in the nature of postal services that affects service and speed of mail delivery on a nationwide basis;
- any revision of service standards;
- any closure or consolidation of a post offices or reduction of facility hours;
- any prohibition of overtime pay;
- any change that would delay mail, or prevent the Postal Service from meeting its service standards.