Postal service changes delayed 7 percent of nation's first-class mail: Democratic report

Postal service changes delayed 7 percent of nation's first-class mail: Democratic report
© Greg Nash

Changes to U.S. Postal Service (USPS) operations delayed seven percent of the nation's First Class mail, according to an investigative report published Wednesday by the Senate's top Democratic overseer of the agency's statistics and information.

The Washington Post reported Postmaster General Louis DeJoyLouis DeJoyThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - White House moves closer to Pelosi on virus relief bill Judge issues nationwide injunction against Postal Service changes Postal service changes delayed 7 percent of nation's first-class mail: Democratic report MORE's newly implemented measures caused nearly 350 million mail pieces to be delayed in the first five weeks they went into effect.

Sen. Gary PetersGary Charles PetersGOP set to release controversial Biden report Democrats fear Russia interference could spoil bid to retake Senate Biden promises Democratic senators help in battleground states MORE (D-Minn.), a member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, detailed in his report how operational changes at USPS ordered by DeJoy compromised the service by delaying an estimated nearly 85 million pieces of mail in one week early August.

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One month after DeJoy took the helm at the Postal Service, he imposed tighter dispatch schedules on transport trucks that resulted in workers leaving behind mail, as extra trips were prohibited as part of the new measures.

Peters's analysis found that before DeJoy took over, the USPS routinely delivered over 90 percent of the nation's First Class mail on time. Now delivery rates are at around 83 percent, causing major issues for recipients reliant on prescription medications, ballots and benefit checks.

The report also notes data from Michigan showing a stark decline in on-time First Class mail delivery from DeJoy’s July 2020 directives. On-time delivery around Detroit dropped to 65.7 percent after the latest measures, a 19.1 percentage point drop.

“The results of my investigation clearly show that Postmaster General DeJoy’s carelessly instituted operational changes to the Postal Service resulted in severe service impacts that harmed the lives and livelihoods of Michiganders and Americans,” said Peters.

Peters found that while on-time mail rates varied across the nation, timely delivery slowed down in every postal service district in the country.

Peters requested that members of the public submit information about mail delays, rendering 7,700 submissions from USPS employees, constituents and individuals around the U.S. sharing concerns about delays.