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Higgins: Postmaster's pause doesn't undo harm already implemented or protect against dismantling of USPS after November election

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Wed, Aug 19th 2020 09:40 pm

House scheduled for Saturday vote on ‘Delivering for America Act’

Congressman Brian Higgins, D-NY-26, said the announcement by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy indicating he is temporarily pausing "sweeping changes" to the U.S. Postal Service doesn’t demonstrate the postmaster has a true understanding of what the postal service means to Americans and provides no confidence that sabotage of the postal service won’t continue.

Higgins said, “Yesterday’s announcement was only intended quiet the public outrage over attempts to dismantle the postal service. It does nothing to undo the harm already implemented here in Western New York and across the nation. And it provides no comfort that they won’t be back at it again come November.”

Under the direction of the postmaster, 671 pieces of mail processing equipment were removed from postal facilities across the nation. This includes the removal of five mail sorters from the William Street mail processing facility in Buffalo and an additional four sorters from Rochester. There is currently no plan for those machines to return.

In addition to the removal of machines, Higgins’ press release said, “The postmaster issued sweeping directives that undermine the traditional one- to two-day service standards, which have been customary for the postal service. The changes included no late trucks and no overtime, leaving mail to sit in post offices, creating widespread mail delivery delays.”

Higgins was among over 170 members objecting to these changes. 

Late yesterday, DeJoy issued a statement indicating he is “suspending these initiatives until after the election.”

On Saturday, the House of Representatives will be in session to vote on the “Delivering for America Act,” legislation. Higgins is a cosponsor of this legislation, which directs that no operational changes be made to the USPS during the COVID-19 pandemic, provides $25 billion in funding for USPS, and specifies processing of election mail.

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