As Postal Service Makes Changes, Ruppersberger Calls Delays ‘Unacceptable’
Rep. C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger (D-Md.) is calling on the U.S. Postal Service’s controversial new CEO to reverse a set of police changes he says are to blame for recent delays in mail delivery.
The changes, ordered by new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, have caused “widespread and significant delays throughout the country,” Ruppersberger said on Friday.
They come as states, including Maryland, finalize plans for the November election.
Many states are considering Election Day plans that make significantly greater use of mail-in ballots than normal, to reduce the need for staffing — and the potential for COVID-19 infection — at the polls.
“Like Americans throughout the country, I have heard from constituents in the Second District who have not gotten their mail – including vital medications and paychecks – for weeks and sometimes not at all,” Ruppersberger said.
“Not only is it morally unacceptable to implement significant cut-backs at the height of a global pandemic when Americans are relying on the mail more than ever, it’s questionable business practice.”
A wealthy businessman and Republican fundraiser, DeJoy was appointed to the top job at the United States Postal Service on May 6.
Ruppersberger said postal workers have been instructed via memo they cannot make extra trips to deliver the mail even if it means, “mail left behind or mail on the workroom floor or docks.”
“If we cannot deliver all mail,” as a result of staffing shortages, “the mail will not go out,” the document states.
Ruppersberger and other lawmakers sent a letter to DeJoy last week urging him to rescind his new policies.
“While we share the goal of ensuring the Postal Service’s solvency, the rhetoric used in these documents compares the Postal Service to a private company concerned only with the bottom line, rather than the constitutionally mandated public service that it is,” the letter states.
“Eliminating overtime and directing postal workers to leave mail on the floor of postal facilities will erode confidence in the Postal Service and drive customers away, resulting in even worse financial conditions in the future.”
DeJoy is the first postmaster in two decades without prior agency experience.
His appointment was controversial because he and his wife have tens of millions of dollars invested in USPS competitors or contractors, including UPS.
After the lawmakers sent their letter, DeJoy restructured the agency’s top management, in a shakeup that some Democrats referred to as the “Friday Night Massacre.”