Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Tuesday announced he was “suspending” cost-cutting policies blamed for slowing down mail delivery ahead of the November elections, bowing to blistering criticism from Democrats that the Trump administration was intentionally undermining mail-in voting.
“The Postal Service is ready today to handle whatever volume of election mail it receives this fall,” Mr. DeJoy said in a statement. “I came to the Postal Services to make changes to secure the success of this organization and its long-term sustainability. I believe significant reforms are essential to that objective and work toward those reforms will commence after the election.”
“In the meantime, there are some longstanding operational initiatives — efforts that predate my arrival at the Postal Service — that have been raised as areas of concern as the nation prepares to hold an election amidst a devasting pandemic. To avoid the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded,” he continued.
The postmaster vowed that there will be no changes to retail hours at post offices, processing equipment and collection boxes will remain in place, and overtime will be approved for employees.
He also said that he is expanding a leadership task force focused on the election to partner with state and local governments.
The change in Mr. DeJoy’s approach comes as lawmakers on Capitol Hill are prepping to grill him over those new policies. He’s set to testify on Friday in front of the Senate and then Monday in the House.
The new changes reportedly include cuts to overtime pay and changes to mail routes, which have led to widespread claims of delays.
Democrats have argued the policy changes are intended to actively slow down the mail in a bid to undermine the election.
Lawmakers are also concerned about the impact delays will have on rural communities and those relying on the postal service for delivering medications.
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