Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today joined colleagues in sending a letter to the United States Postal Service (USPS) Board of Governors calling on it to immediately use its authority under the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 to reverse changes to postal service operations and mail service delays put in place by Trump megadonor turned Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.
In addition to Wyden, the letter is signed by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Senator Gary Peters, D-Mich., U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn.
“We ask that you immediately take action to reverse any and all changes put in place by Mr. DeJoy that degrade or delay postal operations and the delivery of the mail,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter. The letter continued: “(s)hould he not cooperate with these efforts, you have the authority, under the Postal Reorganization Act, to remove the Postmaster General.”
DeJoy’s short tenure has endangered millions of Americans who rely on the Postal Service to keep in touch with their friends and family, obtain prescription drugs and other daily needs, and access their Social Security, VA, and other benefits. His actions threaten the ability of Americans to vote in the 2020 elections. Within days of his appointment, DeJoy has cut back hours at some post offices, denied overtime to mail clerks and carriers, and required that carriers leave some mail behind. Just within the last several weeks, DeJoy removed two top executives who oversee the day to day operations of the USPS, and reports indicate that the USPS is decommissioning 10% of its mail sorting machines and removing dozens of mailboxes – with no valid explanation. These changes have already delayed mail delivery “by as much as a week,” and the Postal Service has warned 46 states that it “cannot guarantee all ballots cast by mail for the November election will arrive in time to be counted.”
The lawmakers noted in their letter that the Board of Governors – not DeJoy alone – “directs the exercise of the powers of the Postal Service, directs and controls its expenditures, reviews its practices, conducts long-range planning, approves officer compensation and sets policies on all postal matters.” It also “takes up matters such as service standards and capital investments.” The Board is designed not to be a partisan body. Federal law specifically restricts the number of Governors belonging to any one political party and requires that Governors be “chosen solely on the basis of their experience” in fields relevant to Postal Service administration. While members are appointed by the President, the duty of Governors is to “represent the public interest generally.”
“It is critical that you act immediately to address efforts by President Trump and Mr. DeJoy to sabotage the Postal Service…It is time to use your full power and authority on behalf of the Postal Service, the American people, and the ‘public interest’ you are required to represent,” the lawmakers wrote.
A full copy of the letter is here.
A web version of this release is here.