Ohioans Continue to Face Postal Service Delays; Postmaster General DeJoy has Refused to Reverse Damaging USPS Changes
September 2, 2020 – WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) hosted a news conference call as he demands U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy reverse the harmful and unnecessary policy changes he enacted at the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) in August. While DeJoy announced recently he would suspend any further changes to the USPS until after the November election, he failed to commit to reversing the damaging changes he has already made. Brown’s office has received thousands of calls, emails, and letters over the past month in response to DeJoy’s changes. The mail delays caused as a result of DeJoy’s changes have prevented Americans from receiving critical mail on time, including prescription drugs, paychecks, business mail, and mail-in ballots.
“The U.S. Postal Service is an essential institution in our country. It’s not a partisan institution – in fact, it brings us together. Yet, Ohio veterans are now facing mail delays because President Trump and his Postmaster General Louis DeJoy have decided to play politics with Americans’ mail. We need new leadership at USPS, and we need emergency funding to help the Postal Service get through this pandemic, handle election mail in November, and ensure Ohioans get their mail, paychecks, and prescriptions on time,” said Brown. “The Trump Administration must reverse its harmful changes – not just put a hold on new disruptions – and Postmaster General DeJoy needs to resign.”
Brown was joined on the call by Meredith Barnett, an Ohio veteran who relies on the Postal Service to receive her prescriptions from the VA, and has recently experienced delays in receiving her medications.
“As a disabled veteran, my prescriptions have been delivered seamlessly by the USPS for over 15 years until just recently. In August, when my medications were not delivered as stated on the tracking site, I became concerned as my supply was running very low. Ultimately, I needed to go to the Dayton VA pharmacy to get a bridge prescription filled to cover the delays in the mail. This put me in a difficult position because, in addition to my physical disability, I have a primary immune deficiency. None of my doctors want me going to any hospital, urgent care, or even their offices during this global pandemic. I find this all incredibly frustrating because it’s never been a problem and it should not be a problem now,” said Meredith Barnett. “Veterans have always received bipartisan support. The Postal Service is loved by most Americans on the right and the left. The Postmaster General needs to reverse the changes he has made so that we can once again rely on the USPS. The changes he has made are hurting veterans like me.”
Brown has led efforts to demand answers and accountability from Postmaster General DeJoy:
In a letter to DeJoy, Brown urged the Postmaster General to invest in the necessary USPS resources and workers to protect Ohioans’ right to vote by mail during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Brown called for full postal services and mail processing capacity to be restored.
Brown and his Senate Democratic colleagues also penned two letters in August demanding answers from DeJoy on the mail service delays caused by the operational changes he directed. These delays have caused seniors and veterans to miss their prescription medications, small businesses to lose money and customers over delayed packages, and other serious disruptions that affect communities in Ohio and across the country who count on the USPS for timely delivery.Brown also joined his colleagues last week in raising concerns over the heightened impact these harmful USPS policy and operational changes would have on deployed servicemembers and their families in particular.
Brown has repeatedly called on Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring the Senate back from recess so Congress can do its job to protect the USPS. The House voted nearly two weeks ago to provide $25 billion to the Postal Service and reverse changes that have slowed its service.
Brown noted his concerns over DeJoy’s financial interest in privatizing USPS’s services in a recent letter to DeJoy. These conflicts of interest, combined with the recent policy changes that undermine the USPS and DeJoy’s unwillingness to be held accountable for those decisions, has ultimately led Senator Brown to call for DeJoy to resign from his position as Postmaster General.