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 PelosiOn The Money: Weekly jobless claims fall to 498K, hitting new post-lockdown low | House to advance appropriations bills in June, July Rural Democrats urge protections from tax increases for family farms Cheney fight stokes cries of GOP double standard for women MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHow to fast-track climate action? EPA cutting super pollutant HFCs On The Money: How demand is outstripping supply and hampering recovery | Montana pulls back jobless benefits | Yellen says higher rates may be necessary Senate Democrats announce B clean bus plan 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.


The letter comes after Pelosi, Schumer, White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsBoehner finally calls it as he sees it Stephen Miller launching group to challenge Democrats' policies through lawsuits A year with the coronavirus: How we got here MORE and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinDemocrats justified in filibustering GOP, says Schumer Yellen provides signature for paper currency Biden's name will not appear on stimulus checks, White House says 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 PetersHillicon Valley: DOJ to review cyber challenges | Gaetz, House Republicans want to end funding for postal service surveillance | TikTok gets new CEO Senators introduce bipartisan bill to protect personal travel data Hillicon Valley: Acting FTC chair urges Congress to revive agency authority after Supreme Court ruling | Senate Intel panel working on breach notification bill 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.