NBC Montana: Tester slams USPS’ DeJoy, Daines expresses ‘serious concerns’ amid Missoula mail review

by Jacob Owens

Montana U.S. Sens. Democrat Jon Tester and Republican Steve Daines are speaking out against a current Postal Service review of Missoula’s mail processing facility, which could see outgoing processing move to Spokane.

Both senators sent letters against the potential removal of some of Missoula’s mail operations. Tester spoke with NBC Montana and did not hold back on his criticism of the Postal Service, especially Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

“What we’ve seen with Postmaster DeJoy is turning his back on rural America and not giving us what we need, in the Postal Service specifically, to make sure we can get on-time mail delivery,” Tester said.

Montana has been through this process before, Tester said, citing the closures of the Kalispell and Helena processing centers. The senator says those closures caused reduced efficiency and delays in delivery.

Tester told NBC Montana he hears a lot about mail delivery that used to be timely but is no longer trusted anymore. He points to the previous closures as the reason, saying the proposed changes in Missoula would do the same.

“I hear a lot from veterans that ask me, ‘Is there any way we can use something other than the U.S. Postal Service to deliver our prescriptions?’ I’m going to tell you, that is a really bad sign,” Tester said.

DeJoy’s tenure at the U.S. Postal Service has been controversial. He oversaw the agency during efforts to remove mailboxes in 2020, and DeJoy remains in charge now as a nationwide review of processing facilities could lead to the increased consolidation of services.

Tester told NBC Montana he does not believe DeJoy is acting in good faith.

“I do not believe he is. I think he should be replaced, I think he should’ve been replaced a long time ago. In fact, I don’t think he should’ve been even put into the position,” Tester said. “He was put in by President Trump. I didn’t like it when he did it, and I’ve thought for a long time that he’s probably working for a different carrier of goods instead of the United States Postal Service.”

Daines was not available for an interview Tuesday, citing travel. Daines did send a letter to DeJoy.

The senator says in the letter he has “serious concerns” over the possibility of out-of-state mail routing and job loss in Missoula. Daines asks DeJoy to keep the current operations at the Missoula facility as part of any future plans.