Senators Schumer, Gillibrand call for changes at U.S. Postal Service

200817Schumer.jpg

Categories: News

TROY — New York’s two U.S. senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and U.S. Rep. Paul

Tonko of Amsterdam, all Democrats, called on U.S. Postal Service leadership to publicly answer questions about cost-cutting measures that have slowed delivery of the mail.

They spoke Monday morning outside the Troy Post Office building.

Senate Minority Leader Schumer criticized newly-installed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy,

saying he recently spoke to DeJoy about his policies.

“It was clear when I met with him that his desire was to dismantle the post office brick by brick. He

didn’t seem to give a hoot for the workers or the millions and hundreds of millions of Americans who

need the mail,” said Schumer.

Concerns over how the delays would affect mail-in voting, delivery of medicine, Social Security checks and other vital items led Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on Sunday to call the House back to session early.

In his ongoing efforts to cut costs since the Postal Service’s Board of Governors appointed him in May,

DeJoy has been removing mail sorting machines from some offices, cutting overtime pay and reducing

carrier hours, among other changes, critics charge.

“In short, these changes are threatening the delivery of medicine during a health crisis, checks during an

economic crisis, and ballots during an election conducted largely by mail,” said Sen. Gillibrand.

Schumer and Gillibrand are sponsoring legislation that would block many of  DeJoy’s

changes. Schumer also said they were proposing $10 billion in funding to the Postal Service and a

mandate that all mail-in ballots be treated as first-class mail.

Tonko pointed to DeJoy’s close ties with President Trump as a potential motive for the changes. The businessman has donated to Trump’s campaign before, as well as to other Republican causes, but denies that his actions are determined by the president.

“I also joined a letter with my colleagues to call for the resignation [of DeJoy], because I think DeJoy has proven to be so connected as a political force rather than one that will respect the workings of the United States postal system,” Tonko said.

While not appointed directly by Trump, the Postal Board that appointed DeJoy is currently composed of

six Trump-appointed board members.

DeJoy and his wife, Aldona Wos, hold millions in assets in Postal Service competitors like UPS and trucking company J.B. Hunt, the Washington Post reported earlier this month.

The senators called for DeJoy to answer questions from lawmakers as early as Friday, urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to call the Senate back to session.

“If Mr. DeJoy does not show up at the hearing, he should be stamped ‘return to sender’ and be forced to

step down,” said Schumer. “He does not deserve to be the postmaster general unless he is able

to answer these questions and rectify all of these injustices.”

Also at the event outside the Troy Post Office, local union president William Cook called for funding for the Postal Service and said he believes the service has the capability to process every mail-in vote for the coming election.

“As an essential service, the USPS has spent a significant amount of money to keep their employees safe

and to deliver the mail to the American people. The USPS deserves and needs the requested $25 billion

reimbursement for these expenses.” Cook said.

Leave a Reply