Members of Congress agree with the attorneys general. The Washington Post has analyzed what DeJoy’s proposed slowdown in mail delivery could mean for delivery times across the nation, finding it “disproportionately affects states west of the Rocky Mountains and the country’s mainland extremities, including large swaths of southern Texas and Florida.” The Post finds that 70% of first class mail going to Nevada will take longer, along with 60% of Florida’s, 58% of Washington state’s, 57% of Montana’s, and 55% of Oregon’s and Arizona’s. The Post has determined that “at least a third of [first class] letters and parcels addressed to 27 states will arrive more slowly under the new standards.”
Nevada’s Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democrat, responded to the analysis: “It’s outrageous that thousands of Nevadans, including our seniors, continue to see delays in the delivery of their mail and prescriptions, and it will only get worse under the misguided proposals of the USPS. We need a USPS board that will be responsive to the needs of Nevadans.” Other Democrats were strong in their condemnation of the move.
Oregon’s Rep. Earl Blumenauer said “Nobody has shown me evidence that the American public wouldn’t pay another nickel or dime to be able to protect the most popular government service in America. This is a real testimony to who we are that we have the universal service and it’s been available, and the fact that the service standards have been eroded and threatened is a real testimony about how things have deteriorated.” His colleague Rep. Peter A. DeFazio said “To implement this plan knowing the impact it will have on millions of rural Americans is unconscionable. DeJoy is a Trump crony and a holdover from a corrupt administration. He’s proven time and time again he doesn’t care about this essential service America’s veterans, seniors, and more rely on. DeJoy must be removed from office immediately.”
The Republicans the Post interviewed or asked for statements were a lot more mealymouthed, but not particularly supportive of DeJoy. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said “Millions of Floridians rely on USPS for everything from receiving passports to getting lifesaving medicines. I have heard from many Floridians who have a story about a missing passport, delayed medicines, or lost packages. I am hopeful the reforms making their way through Congress will address the postal system’s long-standing structural flaws and restore timely delivery that was once the hallmark of USPS.”
Montanan Rep. Matthew M. Rosendale, a Republican, was a little more pointed: “While reforms to reduce costs are welcome, it’s absolutely imperative that we protect rural delivery areas, access, and timing in our state.” Sen. Jon Tester, a Democrat was much stronger in condemnation. “All it takes in this business is, if you’re expecting some high blood pressure medicine in the mail and it doesn’t show up, that’s the last time you used the mail. You’re using something else now. They’ve got to get their delivery back to where it used to be. The Postal Service is just critical for businesses in Montana. I mean, we can talk about families, we can talk about jobs. But from a business standpoint, it’s more than a service.”
Texans won’t be happy to read this: “Sens. John Cornyn (R) and Ted Cruz (R), and Reps. Filemon Vela (D), August Pfluger (R), Roger Williams (R) and Michael Cloud (R) did not respond to requests for comment.”
The attorneys general—all Democrats—deserve the last word. “Postmaster General DeJoy wants to lead the USPS in making further service cuts that would only result in more delays,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James. “The Postal Regulatory Commission should reject these changes and direct the USPS to take action to resume USPS service to what it once was. If they don’t, we will not hesitate to use every tool at our disposal to hold the USPS accountable.”