The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is voicing concerns that new House legislation addressing changes at the agency would ultimately harm its efforts to improve efficiency and reduce costs in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election.
“We are concerned that some of the requirements of the Bill, while well meaning, will constrain the ability of the Postal Service to make operational changes that will improve efficiency, reduce costs, and ultimately improve service to the American people,” USPS said in a statement released Sunday evening.
“We reiterate that the Postal Service is fully capable and committed to delivering the nation’s election mail securely and on time, and will do everything necessary to meet this sacred duty,” USPS added, referring to mounting concerns about the agency’s ability to process what is likely to be a significant rise in mail-in ballots in this year’s elections.
The Democratic-led House on Saturday passed a bill designed to stop USPS from carrying out operational changes that could reduce the speed of delivery of mail-in ballots amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The legislation, which passed largely along party lines, came as a raft of changes at USPS from newly appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoyLouis DeJoyPostmaster general to reiterate Senate opening statement to House panel McConnell rips Democrats for passing ‘piecemeal postal bill’, ‘ignoring the urgent needs’ of Americans USPS lost Army veteran’s remains, delaying delivery, family says MORE raised alarms from lawmakers and state election officials. The House bill, which is unlikely to pass in the Senate, would prevent USPS from removing mail-sorting machines and restricting overtime until the pandemic is over, among other provisions.
It would also allocated $25 billion to Postal Service operations. House Democrats earlier this year included a similar funding provision for USPS in its coronavirus relief package, which Republicans in the Senate rejected.
Ahead of the House vote, DeJoy announced that he would suspend the cost-cutting measures he was implementing at the agency until after the election. However, Democrats contended that he had still yet to reverse some measures that caused mail delivery delays.
DeJoy testified before a Senate committee last week that ensuring mail-in ballots are delivered during elections this year is his “No. 1 priority.” He held that worries about mail deliveries were a “false narrative,” but vowed to not implement major reforms until after Election Day.
DeJoy is set to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Monday during a hearing focused on similar concerns involving mail delivery and the 2020 election.