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Top Democrats say postmaster confirmed changes to mail service amid delays

Top Congressional Democrats said on Thursday that the postmaster general confirmed in a closed-door meeting this week that he had instituted operational changes, and are urging him to change course amid reports of delays. 

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMissouri woman seen with Pelosi sign charged in connection with Capitol riots Boebert communications director resigns amid Capitol riot: report Revising the pardon power — let the Speaker and Congress have voices MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden and the new Congress must protect Americans from utility shutoffs 'Almost Heaven, West Virginia' — Joe Manchin and a 50-50 Senate Democrats looking to speed through Senate impeachment trial MORE (D-N.Y.) noted in a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy that he confirmed during a meeting with them that “the Postal Service recently instituted operational changes shortly after you assumed the position of Postmaster General.”

“These changes include reductions of overtime availability, restrictions on extra mail transportation trips, testing of new mail sorting and delivery policies at hundreds of Post Offices, and the reduction of the number and use of processing equipment at mail processing plants,” they added.

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The letter comes after Pelosi, Schumer, White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsAgency official says Capitol riot hit close to home for former Transportation secretary Chao Republicans wrestle over removing Trump Pressure grows on Trump to leave MORE and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinTreasury imposes additional sanctions on Cuba over allegations of 'serious human rights abuse' Treasury Department sanctions inner circle of Russian agent Derkach for election interference Sanders defends push to impeach Trump: Insurrection won't be tolerated MORE met with DelJoy on Wednesday as part of their negotiations over a fifth coronavirus deal. Democrats want more money for USPS over concerns that they will be swamped by a spike of absentee ballots in November.

Schumer and Pelosi are urging DeJoy to reverse the changes, arguing that they undermine the timely delivery of things like mail, medicine and absentee ballots.

“In this moment, Americans have turned to the Postal Service and depend on it for the timely delivery of critical goods and a safe alternative to in-person interactions. As a result, we believe these changes must be reversed,” they added.

The two Democratic lawmakers also want an analysis on the impact of the recent changes, including how it effects delivery time and serviced.

David Partenheimer, a spokesman for the Postal Service, confirmed that they had received the letter but said they would be responding directly to Democrats. Partenheimer separately denied to the Associated Press USPS is slowing down deliveries.

"We continue to employ a robust and proven process to ensure proper handling of all election mail consistent with our standards,″ he told the AP.

 In addition to the letter from the two top Democrats, Sen. Gary PetersGary PetersTwo Senate committees vow probe of security failure during Capitol riots US government caught blindsided over sophisticated cyber hack, experts say Krebs emphasizes security of election as senators butt heads MORE (D-Mich.), the top Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, announced on Thursday that he was starting an investigation into delivery delays.