August 21, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) voted to pass the Delivering for America Act to provide additional funds to the United States Postal Service (USPS) and prohibit any changes to operations or service levels that would impede prompt, reliable, and efficient service for the duration of the coronavirus crisis or through January 2021.
Over the past few weeks, the Administration and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy made sweeping operational and organizational changes resulting in mail delays across the country. These changes come in the midst of a global pandemic and just months before the November election. Millions of Americans, including veterans and small business owners, rely on the USPS for their mail, delivery of prescriptions, safe and reliable mail-in voting, and other services. They have expressed their deep concern about changes at the USPS that have the potential to affect their livelihood, health and vote.
"Simply put, it’s every American’s constitutionally mandated right to receive mail, and no president can rescind that right,” said Rep. Peters. “President Trump votes by mail, and all we are asking for is that his vote, as well as every other American’s vote, count this year.”
“Postal service delays mean that ballots and medicines arrive too late to register a vote or even to preserve a life. Delays can result in even greater, long-term costs to many of our vulnerable seniors,” Rep. Peters continued. “Many living on fixed incomes, such as Social Security, are extremely concerned about mail delays bringing a fury of late fees and potential loss of service. Late fees for utility, phone, and internet bills can run upwards of $10-$15 – that means less food on the table for many people. Credit card, mortgage, and car payment late fees yield negative credit reports. No one should have to choose between eating and keeping the lights on.”
This vote in the House of Representatives comes days after a national “Day of Action,” in which hundreds of House Democrats held events to call attention to the dire state of the USPS, including in San Diego. The political pressure and public outcry prompted the Postmaster General to suspend operational changes until after the election, but this legislation offers lasting and concrete support for the USPS through a number of measures.
The Delivering for America Act would:
- Include $25 billion in emergency funding requested by the Postal Service with the unanimous support of the bipartisan Postal Board of Governors—all of whom were appointed by President Trump. This funding was also included in the Heroes Act, which the U.S. House of Representatives passed three months ago.
- Prohibit any changes from the operations standards and levels that were in place in January 2020, including changes that would:
- Generally affect service on a substantially nationwide basis
- Revise service standards, prevent the USPS from meeting its service standards, or cause a decline in performance measurement
- Consolidate or reduce hours of any postal office or postal facility or prohibit overtime pay
- Delay mail delivery or increase volume of undelivered mail
- Require the Postal Service to treat all official election mail as First-Class mail
- Prohibit the removal of mailboxes and the removal, decommissioning, or other stoppage of mail sorting machines, other than for routine maintenance; Explicitly reverse any changes already implemented to the operations or policies of the Postal Service that delay mail delivery.