Higher prices, longer delivery times and reduced hours part of postmaster general’s plan

A new U.S. Postal Service strategic plan released Tuesday from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy includes further cuts to agency services, including higher postage prices, longer delivery windows and reduced post office hours. 

The document’s release comes after The Washington Post first reported on the plans Monday, citing two people briefed on the report who said that the moves are part of an effort to make up for billions of dollars in financial losses within the agency. DeJoy, a Trump appointee, told a House panel last month that the Postal Service is facing $188.4 billion in liabilities and that over the next 10 years the agency could lose an additional $160 billion. 

The plan includes increasing the service standard for first-class mail by a day. The agency for years has struggled to meet its current standard of delivering first-class mail in up to two days and nonlocal mail in three to five days, the Post noted. 

DeJoy, along with board of governors Chairman Ron Bloom and other top Postal Service officials, hosted a news conference Tuesday morning officially unveiling the plans.

“The need for the U.S. Postal Service to transform to meet the needs of our customers is long overdue,” DeJoy said Tuesday. 

“The Postal Service’s problems are serious, but working together, they can be solved,” he continued, adding that the 10-year plan “capitalizes on our natural strengths and addresses our serious weaknesses.” 

The changes come as DeJoy already faces scrutiny and calls to step down as lawmakers from both parties have expressed concerns on the management of the Postal Service, especially with the influx of mail-in ballots ahead of the 2020 presidential election. 

DeJoy last month during testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee acknowledged and apologized for delivery delays during the peak holiday season. 

The White House the day after the hearing criticized the agency’s performance and signaled a potential change in leadership once President Biden’s picks to fill vacancies on the Postal Service board of governors are confirmed. 

“The American people highly value the Postal Service and the men and women who deliver our mail every day and are working hard to do exactly that,” press secretary Jen Psaki said then. “But I think we can all agree, most Americans would agree, that the Postal Service needs leadership that can and will do a better job.”

The embattled postmaster general earlier this month announced another phase of organizational changes to take place over a two-month period, including the consolidation of 67 service districts into 50 and realigning the agency’s logistics and processing operations to add an additional division, bringing the total to 13.

DeJoy in a statement at the time said the changes would “strengthen our mission and commitment to serve the American people by improving efficiency and streamlining decision making throughout the organization.”

Updated at 2:07 p.m.

Tags 2020 2020 election biden administration House Oversight and Reform Committee Jen Psaki Joe Biden Louis DeJoy mail-in ballots Postal Service U.S. Postal Service White House

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