Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said Tuesday he’s backing down from a series of reforms viewed as detrimental to the 2020 presidential election, just 2 1/2 months away — but it remains unclear if the sorting equipment and drop off boxes that have been removed will be restored.
Claiming the reforms which could leave mail sitting around as a result of cutbacks in overtime proposed by DeJoy, he issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon claiming that he would wait until after the election to begin what he calls reforms. The ailing federal agency will likely need a $25 billion infusion in order to support its operations throughout the pandemic.
“There has been a lot of discussion recently about whether the Postal Service is ready, willing and able to meet this challenge,” DeJoy said. “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 in the midst of a devastating pandemic. To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded.”
President Donald Trump alarmed New York politicians when he said on Fox News Thursday that he did not support delivering these funds to USPS based on the belief that it would only support people’s right to mail-in voting, which he sees as a system riddled with fraud. Opponents have regarded this stance alongside the actions taken by DeJoy as voter disenfranchisement.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney introduced legislation last week known as the Delivering for America Act which, contrary to DeJoy’s commitment to hold reforms until after the election, would require USPS operate at its a pre-pandemic levels until either COVID-19 is a thing of the past or January 2021.
CNN reported in on Aug. 13 that USPS had removed a total of 671 sorting machines from locations in multiple states, to which they explained was normal procedure considering an increase in package deliveries, but a decrease letters.
amNewYork Metro reached out to USPS for confirmation that these items would be restored to service, but they did not return with comment.
Two days ago, however, the USPS said it would stop further removal of mail collection boxes would be put on a 90-day hold.
DeJoy is expected to go before a Senate hearing on Friday as well as take questions from the Congressional Oversight Committee, chaired by Maloney.