Today, Congressman Matt Cartwright (PA-08) provided opening remarks to the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations during a field hearing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to examine drops in the U.S. Postal Service's mail delivery performance, recent increases in postal mail theft and crime, and whether the Postal Service is prepared to effectively receive and deliver mail-in ballots nationally during the upcoming election cycle.
Congressman Cartwright's remarks to the Subcommittee on Government Operations hearing, "Delivering for Pennsylvania: Examining Postal Service Delivery and Operations from the Cradle of Liberty" are below:
"Thank you to Chairman Connolly for convening this hearing and thank you to my fellow members of the Pennsylvania delegation and representatives from USPS for being here.
Over the past two years, my office has seen a record number of constituent calls and casework requests for assistance with their mail and package delivery. Hundreds of constituents have called into my office, written letters, responded to my online survey, and sent emails to express their concerns about USPS. We have heard horror stories from constituents who are told by their local post offices that first class mail is going unsorted and that there aren't enough carriers to cover all the routes, resulting in astonishing delays in delivery.
Constituents in communities across the 8th Congressional District reported going more than two days without mail, despite a promise made to my office that no household should go more than one day without a delivery. Earlier this year, residents of South Abington Township Pennsylvania were going 10-12 days without mail
Not only were there reports of package and mail delivery but also poor and unreliable service at post office locations. Hours were shortened and locations were closed for days without notice. The Bushkill Post Office was closed for five consecutive days earlier this year.
People rely on the mail and the Postal Service to conduct the business of their daily lives: to get their medication, pay their bills, and receive the benefit checks they are owed. The answer should not be to bank online or get direct deposit. The answer is holding the US Postal Service accountable to do their job while also listening to their concerns or needs for additional resources.
I have worked directly with USPS to try to get this issue resolved, including meeting directly with Mr. Vaccarella and other members of his staff, but unfortunately, the issues are ongoing.
I have demanded solutions for my constituents, but the complaints kept coming in. As one community's issue appears to resolve, another community reports delivery delays, problems at their post office location, or other issues with the services offered by USPS like mail forwarding.
I think everyone here can agree that we're on the same page of wanting reliable, expeditious mail and package delivery for the American people. And I think we can all agree that USPS employees are hardworking public servants who deserve the resources, training, and fellow staff members they need to do their jobs effectively.
I hope we have a productive hearing to work toward solutions to better serve the people of Pennsylvania."