Letter to the Hon. Carolyn Maloney, Chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform - Mucarsel-Powell Submits Questions To Oversight Committee For Postmaster General DeJoy To Answer At Monday's Hearing
Dear Chairwoman Maloney:
Thank you for your steadfast leadership and responsiveness to the American people's calls for action.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) is an institution enshrined in our Constitution. It provides an essential service relied upon by communities throughout our expansive country. The USPS delivers medication to our veterans, enables our small business to expand their scope and reach across the world, employs thousands of Americans and provides them with fair wages, and gives millions of Americans the opportunity to vote safely in the midst of global pandemic.
The actions taken by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy since his recent appointment present an existential threat to the USPS. Mr. DeJoy's apparent conflicts of interest define his motive to undermine the USPS, but his actions so close to the November election also indicate his intention to prevent Americans from exercising their fundamental right to participate in our democracy -- the right to vote. In fact, President Trump has openly stated that his refusal to assist the USPS is an effort to prevent Americans from voting by mail. Despite Mr. DeJoy's statement that his proposed changes will be delayed until after the 2020 elections, his actions have already harmed millions of Americans, their families, and their businesses.
I have heard directly from postal service workers, letter carriers and constituents in my district, who have communicated the real-time impacts these changes are having in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. Changes in organizational processes have resulted entire routes not being delivered on a daily basis. Sorting machines have reportedly been removed from the General Mail Facility in Miami, causing the mail stream to move at a slower pace. Mail has often been left overnight as letter carriers work to meet deadlines set by the Postmaster General. This has resulted in senior citizens not receiving their medicine and small businesses lacking supplies and checks.
We cannot allow this to continue. Mr. DeJoy needs to answer for his changes to the USPS. Accordingly, we request that the following questions be asked during his testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on August 24, 2020 and/or submitted as questions for the record:
· What is the USPS doing at present regarding manpower and equipment to sort and deliver mail? Describe the initiative. Does this initiative have a given name within your office?
· Why, less than 90 days before the national election, is the Trump Administration executing this initiative?
· Have you, Mr. DeJoy, or anyone on your staff, had any communications--oral or written--with anyone in the White House about implementing this initiative. Were the communications oral, written or both?
With whom in the White House did you (or your staff) have the communications?
For each person identified, when did you (or your staff) have this communication?
Who was present during each communication?
Describe the substance of what was discussed. Who said what to whom?
Are there any written materials reflecting these communications?
· Is there anything that you are aware of that prevents the USPS from executing this initiative after November 3 (after the election)?
· What effect will the changes made to the USPS to date, including the removal of sorting machines, have on USPS's capacity to timely deliver ballots for the 2020 election in November?
Are ballots being identified for sensitive, expedited, and/or priority delivery?
· Despite your proclamation that you are suspending further changes to USPS operation until after the election, what steps are you taking to reverse the delays already caused by your operational modifications?
· Over 9,000 people are employed by the USPS in Miami and South Florida. Assuming your proposed policies and changes are implemented immediately following the November election, how many employees are expected to be laid-off, fired, or otherwise terminated from the USPS due to operational modifications in 2021? Please provide a total number, as well as the number for the South Florida area.
How many employees are expected to be laid-off, fired, or otherwise terminated from the USPS due to operational modifications in the next five years? Please provide a total number, as well as the number for the South Florida area.