Tester Statement on Bipartisan House Passage of Emergency Postal Service Legislation

Senator: “The Senate can’t keep its head buried in the sand just because Mitch McConnell wants to continue his summer vacation”

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after a bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives passed legislation 257-150 to provide $25 billion in emergency funding to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS):

“The House today showed there is wide, bipartisan support across the country for bolstering the Postal Service, and the Senate can’t keep its head buried in the sand just because Mitch McConnell wants to continue his summer vacation. McConnell must immediately call the Senate back to Washington to get to work and pass this bill, which will ensure Montanans can continue relying on USPS for the timely delivery of everything from medication to Social Security benefits.”

In July, Tester introduced similar, bipartisan legislation to provide $25 billion in emergency assistance to help the agency recoup pandemic related losses and other operational expenses. He has also 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.

Tester has led the charge to hold Postmaster General Louis DeJoy accountable after USPS undertook reorganization actions that threaten to undermine the agency.

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. He recently announced legislation that would prevent USPS from removing any further mail collection boxes across the country, force the agency to reinstate the boxes that were removed, and require DeJoy to submit a report to Congress explaining why collection boxes were removed in the first place.

Tester has also urged DeJoy to correct operational changes that are needlessly delaying veterans’ access to prescriptions and pushed back on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) following reports that it was scaling back its relationship with USPS, urging VA Secretary Robert Wilkie to address any concerns with the status of prescription deliveries for veterans—especially in rural states like Montana.