USPS Budget Decisions Under Fire, Mail Delivery Prescriptions Delayed for Veterans

Neither snow nor rain nor heat or night, but sometimes it’s a budget crunch that stops the U.S. Mail.

Despite being in the midst of the pandemic where people are staying home and ordering more things online for delivery, moves are being made to remove equipment from within the postal service.

Mail boxes have been picked up from some locations, decreasing the locations where people can drop their mail.

The Postmaster General is being called on the carpet for budget decisions being made. U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is being tapped to testify about the cost cutting measures that the USPS is putting in place.  There is fear that this move is designed to hold up the mail-in ballots in the upcoming presidential election. 

Machines that sort the mail have also been removed, reducing the speed in which mail can be sorted, delaying mail delivery.  USPS workers are often already working long days and delivering mail 7 days a week.

Veterans that rely on prescriptions that come by mail are waiting two to three weeks for medication they would normally receive in two to three days. Some are having to drive long distances to get medication that they need to survive.

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The United States Postal Service originally proposed the removal of 20 percent of their letter sorting machines around the country. Their plans were revised last week and closer to 15 percent of the machines or 502 units will be taken out of service, according to documents obtained by Motherboard.  Workers at USPS say that this will slow their ability to sort mail, such as letters, postcards and envelopes that are the size of ballots. 

These changes however, were put into place on May 15, a month before DeJoy assumed office. It was also only nine days after the Board of Governors announced that DeJoy had been selected.  The timing of this and the fact that DeJoy is a Trump donor and Republican fundraiser are causing people to jump to conclusions.

On Friday, DeJoy told USPS’ Board of Governors, “If public policy makers choose to utilize the mail as a part of their election system, we will do everything we can to deliver Election Mail in a timely manner consistent with our operational standards.

When the pandemic started, leaders in the postal service told lawmakers that they anticipated that the mail service would be bleeding about $2 billion a month for 18 months, even risking insolvency as early as September. 

President Trump said he is willing to consider additional funding for the USPS, however he wants it to be a separate agreement and not attached to other legislation. 

The amounts needed to keep the USPS solvent vary, although negotiators are trying to bridge the gap between the $1 trillion aide package that Senate Republicans put forward at the end of July and the $3 trillion legislation passed in May by House Democrats. 

The Democratic-controlled House is being recalled back to Washington later in the week to vote on legislation regarding changes being made to the Postal Service.

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This bill would prohibit any changes to Postal Service levels that were in place on Jan 1, 2020.  It is anticipated that the House will return on Saturday to vote. 

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