Tester Statement on USPS Decision to Drop Harmful Initiatives Until After Election

After sustained pressure by U.S. Senator Jon Tester, U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced today that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will suspend harmful cost-cutting initiatives until after the November election.

“The Postal Service is a critical lifeline for thousands of Montanans, and it is welcome news that Postmaster DeJoy intends to drop the harmful changes he has instituted until after the election,” Tester said. “But this fight is far from over – Montanans rely on dependable, timely mail service to pay their bills, receive prescription drugs, and vote, and DeJoy’s actions have already caused real damage that must be repaired. I won’t stop fighting until USPS reverses the disruptions in service DeJoy has made, and until USPS has the resources and support it needs to continue delivering mail to every community in our state.”

Tester raised the alarm after USPS undertook reorganization actions that threaten to undermine the agency and concerns the changes are intended to cripple the agency and slow down mail delivery for millions of Americans. Earlier Tuesday Tester announced legislation to prevent USPS from removing any further mail collection boxes, forcing the agency to reinstate the boxes that were removed, and requiring DeJoy to submit a report to Congress explaining why collection boxes were removed in the first place.

On Monday, Tester called on DeJoy to appear before Congress to answer for the changes, and last Thursday Tester blew the whistle on USPS for removing dozens of mail collection boxes from towns across Montana, leading USPS to pause its removal of collection boxes nationwide until after the election.

Tester wrote two letters to DeJoy last week urging him to correct operational changes that are needlessly delaying veterans’ access to prescriptions and to reverse the agency’s decision to not automatically consider election mail First Class mail, which would increase the cost of elections for already budget strapped states and disenfranchise voters by increasing concerns they would not receive their ballot by election day or by causing them to be returned after the deadline.

He also recently introduced bipartisan legislation to provide $25 billion in emergency assistance to help the agency recoup pandemic related losses and other operational expenses, and has pushed Senate leadership to make significant emergency investments in the USPS a part of any new coronavirus aid package, as well as to provide support and protective equipment for the agency’s employees.