August 21, 2020

Senator Hassan Grills Postmaster General Over Harmful Changes He Made to Postal Service & Secures Commitment to Prioritize Election Mail Delivery

Senator Hassan Also Called for Answers Over Decommissioned Sorting Machines in New Hampshire

NEW HAMPSHIRE – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan grilled United States Postal Service (USPS) Postmaster General Louis DeJoy today over the significant and damaging operational changes he is making to the USPS that are slowing mail delivery for Granite Staters and all Americans.

 

To watch the Senator’s questioning click here.

 

Senator Hassan began her questioning by highlighting how these mail delays have impacted people in New Hampshire, including veteran families. “One Manchester couple fills prescriptions through their VA benefits, and they wrote, ‘There has been a noticeable slowdown in mail delivery. Mail delays have caused me to ration medication. I start cutting back on my dosage to half pills or skipping alternate days to make them last. Some of my pills are crucial: my cardiac and diabetic meds need to be on a strict protocol,’” Senator Hassan shared in the hearing.

 

Following the Senator’s question, the Postmaster General told Senator Hassan that he would make sure that any future changes to the Postal Service do not delay the delivery of life-saving medications.  

 

Senator Hassan also pressed Postmaster General DeJoy on the Postal Service’s plan for the upcoming election, and referenced letters that he and the Postal Service General Counsel sent to Congress which provided limited information on his election mail plans.

 

When asked whether he had a more detailed operational plan for election mail, the Postmaster General said he has not finalized the plan yet and refused to commit to sending a more detailed plan to Congress by Sunday night.

 

On the topic of maintaining the Postal Service’s practice of prioritizing election mail, Senator Hassan pressed the Postmaster General asking, “Yes or no, will you commit to the goal of delivering at least 95 percent of election mail within one to three days this year – the same as the Postal Service did in 2018?

 

The Postmaster General replied that he would.  

 

Senator Hassan went on to highlight how the Postmaster General’s decision to decommission sorting machines in New Hampshire has slowed mail sorting in the state’s largest processing facility.  

 

“At the Manchester Processing and Distribution facility in my state, four sorting machines have been taken out of service. Three of them are just sitting there, and I’m told that one of them has been dismantled and sold to a company in Pennsylvania for scrap metal,” Senator Hassan said.

 

Senator Hassan continued, “The Manchester facility only has one other machine that can do the work of the machine that has been sold for scrap. If that machine fails – like it did yesterday, when I was talking to postal workers in my state – sorting stops and mail is delayed until the machine can be fixed. Although you’ve suspended the removal of sorting machines, the removed machines in Manchester have yet to be brought back into service or replaced.”

 

When pressed on whether reports that the Director of Maintenance Operations at the Postal Service directed local maintenance managers not to reconnect these critical machines, the Postmaster General denied knowing about the incident, saying, “I have no idea…This whole process was new to me last week.”

 

“You’ve already said though today that it’s not necessary,” Senator Hassan replied. “When we have only one machine that can do a certain kind of sorting in our largest distribution center in the state of New Hampshire and it breaks and everything has to stop until it gets fixed again, that’s not efficient, that delays delivery…By refusing to restart or replace these machines you're really sabotaging the Postal Services’ ability to sort mail efficiently and you're undermining Postal workers’ commitment to that every day delivery.”  

 

Senator Hassan also secured a commitment from the Postmaster General not to retaliate against Postal Service workers who choose to publicly share their accounts of the operational changes that the Postmaster General has made and will continue to make during his tenure.

 

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NEW HAMPSHIRE – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan grilled United States Postal Service (USPS) Postmaster General Louis DeJoy today over the significant and damaging operational changes he is making to the USPS that are slowing mail delivery for Granite Staters and all Americans.

 

To watch the Senator’s questioning click here.

 

Senator Hassan began her questioning by highlighting how these mail delays have impacted people in New Hampshire, including veteran families. “One Manchester couple fills prescriptions through their VA benefits, and they wrote, ‘There has been a noticeable slowdown in mail delivery. Mail delays have caused me to ration medication. I start cutting back on my dosage to half pills or skipping alternate days to make them last. Some of my pills are crucial: my cardiac and diabetic meds need to be on a strict protocol,’” Senator Hassan shared in the hearing.

 

Following the Senator’s question, the Postmaster General told Senator Hassan that he would make sure that any future changes to the Postal Service do not delay the delivery of life-saving medications.  

 

Senator Hassan also pressed Postmaster General DeJoy on the Postal Service’s plan for the upcoming election, and referenced letters that he and the Postal Service General Counsel sent to Congress which provided limited information on his election mail plans.

 

When asked whether he had a more detailed operational plan for election mail, the Postmaster General said he has not finalized the plan yet and refused to commit to sending a more detailed plan to Congress by Sunday night.

 

On the topic of maintaining the Postal Service’s practice of prioritizing election mail, Senator Hassan pressed the Postmaster General asking, “Yes or no, will you commit to the goal of delivering at least 95 percent of election mail within one to three days this year – the same as the Postal Service did in 2018?

 

The Postmaster General replied that he would.  

 

Senator Hassan went on to highlight how the Postmaster General’s decision to decommission sorting machines in New Hampshire has slowed mail sorting in the state’s largest processing facility.  

 

“At the Manchester Processing and Distribution facility in my state, four sorting machines have been taken out of service. Three of them are just sitting there, and I’m told that one of them has been dismantled and sold to a company in Pennsylvania for scrap metal,” Senator Hassan said.

 

Senator Hassan continued, “The Manchester facility only has one other machine that can do the work of the machine that has been sold for scrap. If that machine fails – like it did yesterday, when I was talking to postal workers in my state – sorting stops and mail is delayed until the machine can be fixed. Although you’ve suspended the removal of sorting machines, the removed machines in Manchester have yet to be brought back into service or replaced.”

 

When pressed on whether reports that the Director of Maintenance Operations at the Postal Service directed local maintenance managers not to reconnect these critical machines, the Postmaster General denied knowing about the incident, saying, “I have no idea…This whole process was new to me last week.”

 

“You’ve already said though today that it’s not necessary,” Senator Hassan replied. “When we have only one machine that can do a certain kind of sorting in our largest distribution center in the state of New Hampshire and it breaks and everything has to stop until it gets fixed again, that’s not efficient, that delays delivery…By refusing to restart or replace these machines you're really sabotaging the Postal Services’ ability to sort mail efficiently and you're undermining Postal workers’ commitment to that every day delivery.”  

 

Senator Hassan also secured a commitment from the Postmaster General not to retaliate against Postal Service workers who choose to publicly share their accounts of the operational changes that the Postmaster General has made and will continue to make during his tenure.

 

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