Protecting the Postal Service
The United States Postal Service (USPS) is a pillar of our democracy, enshrined in the Constitution and essential for providing critical services: delivering prescriptions, Social Security checks, paychecks, tax returns and absentee ballots to millions of Americans, including in our most remote communities.
Recently, President Donald Trump and the Postmaster General made operational changes that degrade services, delay the mail, and threaten to disenfranchise voters. These include the reduction of mail processing machines, prohibition on overtime, and restrictions on trips to deliver mail. Zoe has been deeply troubled by the policy changes.
As Chair of the Committee on House Administration – which is charged with the oversight of federal elections – Zoe is particularly alarmed by the brazen attempts to prevent eligible Americans from casting their votes by mail in the November election. She knows we must protect our elections.
In response to massive public outcry, on August 18th, Postmaster General DeJoy announced that he is suspending his operational changes at least through the election. While this is a welcome step, Zoe knows it is not nearly enough. Postmaster General DeJoy has not committed to reversing the harmful steps, such as the removal of mail sorting machines, that have already been implemented. Furthermore, the millions of Americans who receive prescriptions, packages, and other essential goods and documents via the mail will not suddenly stop needing timely mail delivery after the election is over. In order to fully reverse the changes at the USPS and prevent further degradation of service in the future, Zoe is a cosponsor of H.R. 8015, the Delivering for America Act. Zoe also voted to provide the USPS with $25 billion in the HEROES Act and a further $25 billion to modernize postal operations and infrastructure in the Moving Forward Act.
Santa Clara County Stories
Thousands of constituents have recently told Zoe how the disruptions in the Postal Service impact them directly. Here are a few excerpts:
Tim, San Jose
“I am one of millions who is required to fill prescriptions at my employer’s prescription benefit online pharmacy. My prescriptions are filled and then mailed to me via the USPS. I had a prescription filled last weekend that would have been here by now ordinarily... The consequences of this are potentially fatal.”
Jere, San Jose
“I am a Vietnam Era veteran who relies on the United States Postal Service for delivery of medication… A delay in receiving medication, as you know, could be very detrimental to our health; maybe, even death.”
Michael, Morgan Hill
“[My wife and I] are worried about the impact on our small online business. We use the USPS for about 90% of our shipping, and the slowdown at the USPS will definitely negatively impact our business.”
Jason, San Jose
“I am a small business owner and ship packages across the United States. Over the last 60 days, I have seen a dramatic slow down as shipments are tracked and more than 75% of my packages are tagged with late delivery. I have customers demanding shipping refunds and I am losing money because of the post office delaying packages throughout the country. This has to stop in order to help small businesses heal.”
Donna, Morgan Hill
“My husband and I depend on [the USPS] for medications. During COVID, we have bought more food online and much of it is delivered by the USPS.”
Linda, San Jose
“[This] is impacting my husband who has diabetes and me, a retired nurse who has severe asthma. We are both high-risk patients who receive our many medications by mail, which is currently being delayed by days. We then have to rush to our local medical center to get replacement medications, which exposes us to the risk of getting COVID-19 and increases our anxiety about future medical care issues.”
James, San Jose
“As a three-time cancer survivor, I need the USPS for medications and supplies.”
H.R.8015 – The Delivering for America Act
Prohibits USPS – for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency or January 1, 2021, whichever is later – from implementing or approving any change to operations or the level of service provided by USPS from those in effect on January 1, 2020, that would impede prompt, reliably, and efficient services. Click here for more information.
H.R. 6800 – The Heroes Act
Provides $25 billion in emergency appropriations for USPS to offset pandemic-related revenue loss and removes all limitations on CARES Act borrowing authority. Click here for more information.
H.R. 2382 – The USPS Fairness Act
Repeals the prefunding mandate that requires USPS to annually prepay future retirement health benefits. This mandate was responsible for 90 percent of USPS losses from 2007 – 2013 and 100 percent of losses from 2013 to 2020. Click here for more information.
H.Res. 23 – Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States Postal Service should take all appropriate measures to ensure the continuation of door delivery for all business and residential customers
H.Res. 33 – Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that Congress should take all appropriate measures to ensure that the United States Postal Service remains an independent establishment of the Federal Government and is not subject to privatization
H.Res. 54 – Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States Postal Service should take all appropriate measures to ensure the continuation of its 6-day mail delivery service
H.Res. 78 – Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States postal facility network is an asset of significant value and the United States Postal Service should take appropriate measures to maintain, modernize and fully utilize the existing post office network for economic growth
Sent a detailed ten-page letter with Democratic leaders and the other top Democrats from four Congressional committees with jurisdiction over federal elections and the Postal Service to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy demanding answers to grave questions about sweeping changes that are slowing the mail and therefore jeopardize the integrity of the election.
Followed up with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy about concerns regarding operational changes at USPS that have increased delayed and undelivered mail impacting mail delivery times and quality of service for Americans.
Demanded answers from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on reported operational changes such as elimination of overtime hours and deprioritizing of mail that disregard the critical and constitutionally mandated nature of USPS’ mission.
Called for House and Senate leaders to include the USPS provisions in the Heroes Act – $25 billion in emergency appropriations and removal of all limitations on CARES Act borrowing authority – in a COVID-19 legislative package and a prohibition on reducing operational standards.
Urged Senate leaders to include $25 billion in emergency appropriations to offset pandemic-related revenue loss and improved access to borrowing authority from the Department of Treasury in a COVID-19 legislative package.
Requested House leaders to include $25 billion in emergency appropriations to offset revenue loss, $25 million to fund modernization efforts, $25 billion in unrestricted borrowing authority, elimination of outstanding debt obligations, hazard pay for workers, and repeal of the prefunding mandate for USPS in a COVID-19 legislative package.
Suggested House leaders provide a much stronger level of support for USPS than was included in the CARES Act – something commensurate with the request by the Postal Service Board of Governors for $50 billion in emergency appropriations and $25 billion in borrowing authority.