MTN News: Sen. Tester still wants more answers from US Postal Service

by Dennis Bragg

MISSOULA – Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) still wants answers from the US Postal Service, saying the agency hasn’t explained a series of controversial service cutbacks. The Democrat is among the lawmakers who want more information about cuts that have included removal of pickup boxes, advanced mail sorting machines, and delays in mail delivery.

While USPS staff responded to some of his earlier questions about the service changes, Sen. Tester says the explanations for removing mailboxes are still “unacceptable”. Sen. Tester is pressing Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to specifically explain why dozens of mailboxes had been removed across Montana.

“We’ve asked why they did it. They said, ‘well, we’ve got these surveys and they’re underused’. We asked for the surveys that they got, not a thing. All we’ve heard is crickets,” Sen. Tester said. “Sure it’s about voting, but it’s also about prescription drugs. It’s about birthday cards, it’s about making sure leases get through and all that kind of stuff that we still use. And I think most Americans still do. I mean, I don’t think it’s just a rural thing. I don’t think it’s just a Montana thing.”

Sen. Tester says a ruling last week by a U-S District Court Judge in Oregon that policy changes implemented by DeJoy are harmful to voters is a “five-alarm fire” for the Postal Service. But he calls it good news for Montanans, saying it should signal a return to regular mail delivery.