Peters Releases New Investigative Report Detailing Harmful Impacts of Nationwide Mail Delays
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released a report detailing the results of his investigation into how operational changes at the United States Postal Service (USPS) ordered by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy resulted in compromised service and serious harm for veterans, small businesses, rural communities, seniors, and millions of Americans who rely on the mail. The report determined that delays increased steeply nationwide as a result of DeJoy’s actions, according to USPS data. These delays resulted in an estimated 85 million more late deliveries in a single week by early August, an example of the impacts that have lasted for months.
The report also highlights data from Michigan confirming the steep decline in on-time First Class mail delivery resulting from Postmaster General DeJoy’s July 2020 directives. In the Detroit area, on-time delivery fell to 65.7 percent following DeJoy’s directives, a 19.1 percentage point drop.
“The results of my investigation clearly show that Postmaster General DeJoy’s carelessly instituted operational changes to the Postal Service resulted in severe service impacts that harmed the lives and livelihoods of Michiganders and Americans,” said Senator Peters. “I have repeatedly made it clear to Mr. DeJoy, that his actions have had consequences for many of my constituents and people across the nation. My report shows his decisions were reckless and caused significant harm to the American people. The Postmaster General must immediately cease any actions that continue to cause delays, and Congress must hold him accountable by passing my legislation to ensure Postal Service can continue to deliver through the Coronavirus pandemic and beyond.”
READ THE FULL REPORT: “Failure to Deliver: Harm Caused by U.S. Postmaster General DeJoy’s Changes to Postal Service Mail Delivery”
The report’s key findings include:
- Changes directed by Postmaster General DeJoy slowed mail service across the country. Every Postal Service District in the country saw a decline in on-time delivery of First-Class mail, including steep declines in Detroit, Honolulu, central Pennsylvania, and parts of Northern Ohio and the Ohio Valley.
- Nearly two months after DeJoy mandated operational changes, on-time delivery has still not fully recovered.
- DeJoy was not transparent about his changes, and downplayed the damaging effects they have had on seniors, veterans, small businesses, and others across the country.
- DeJoy cut the number of extra and late mail truck deliveries by tens of thousands of trips and failed to consider the likely service impacts of these changes.
- Accounts from USPS workers contradict DeJoy’s statements about the status of certain operational changes, including limitations on overtime – and the Postal Service has still not answered questions about these conflicting reports.
The report makes key recommendations to ensure the Postal Service can continue to provide reliable service, including:
- The Postmaster General should cease and reverse actions that are causing mail delays.
- Congress should pass Senator Peters’ Delivering for America Act to prevent the Postmaster General from making any further changes that could harm service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Peters’ bill is the companion to the bill the House passed in August.
- The Postal Service should follow all policies and practices for swiftly delivering election mail, including treating all election mail as First-Class mail.
- The Postal Service should consult with Congress and stakeholders before enacting any future changes.
As a part of his investigation, Peters invited the public to provide information about mail delays, resulting in over 7,700 submissions from Postal Service employees, constituents, and individuals across the country sharing concerns about delays. These submissions, dozens of which are included in the report, include veterans and seniors who faced delays in delivery of critical prescription drugs, small business owners who were unable to connect with their customers, postal workers concerned about severe service declines, as well as other Americans who faced harmful delivery delays of financial documents, letters from loved ones and more.
As Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Peters has led the charge to protect the Postal Service. Peters helped secure an oversight hearing with Postmaster General DeJoy, where he grilled him on the changes that caused significant service disruptions. Additionally, Peters called on the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors to immediately reverse changes made by DeJoy that degrade or delay postal operations and mail delivery.