House Democrats introduce ‘DeJoy Act’ to block postal service changes

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A group of House Democrats on Friday unveiled a bill seeking to block changes outlined this week in Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s 10-year plan to reduce financial losses within the United States Postal Service. 

On Tuesday, DeJoy released plans seeking to increase postage prices, provide longer delivery windows and reduce post office hours. The changes also include increasing the standard for first-class mail by a day after the agency  struggled to keep up with its current two-to-three-day standard for first-class mail and three to five days for nonlocal mail. 

Under DeJoy’s plan, 70 percent of first-class mail items would take three days, while the remaining 30 percent could take up to an additional two days. 

In response, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) told The Washington Post on Friday that the first-class standard change “would be a nonstarter” for “the American people.”

He introduced the Delivering Envelopes Judiciously On-time Year-round Act, or DEJOY Act.

In the bill, Krishnamoorthi, along with six co-sponsors, seeks to prevent the Postal Service from lengthening delivery windows, and require the service to meet current standards. 

The legislation comes after Krishnamoorthi, a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, told CBS News that “sending a piece of mail should not be a game of chance, and that’s what’s happening with the USPS, unfortunately, right now.” 

“Unfortunately, people are starting to shift some of their habits to work around the mail,” he added. “So they’re emailing documents and they’re basically reducing their reliance on the mail, which long term is a disaster.”

The congressman added that his constituents have already voiced concerns to him about receiving medications, Social Security checks and bill payments within a timely manner due to mailing delays. 

During a Tuesday news conference, DeJoy said the plan “capitalizes on our natural strengths and addresses our serious weaknesses” in the Postal Service. 

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 postmaster general and the agency at large faced increased scrutiny from lawmakers in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election, when the Postal Service was hit with an influx of mail-in ballots amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

President Biden has put forth picks to fill vacancies on the agency’s board of governors and the White House has signaled a potential change in leadership once these replacements are confirmed. 

“I think we can all agree, most Americans would agree, that the Postal Service needs leadership that can and will do a better job,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last month.

Tags 2020 election biden administration Board of Governors coronavirus pandemic House House Oversight and Reform Committee Jen Psaki Joe Biden Louis DeJoy mail delays Raja Krishnamoorthi The Washington Post U.S. Postal Service White House

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