Lawmakers request delay in USPS modernization efforts pending formal review

 May 12, 2024

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has long been plagued by inefficiencies and financial turmoil, not to mention customer complaints about poor service and seemingly ever-increasing costs.

Now, a series of proposed USPS modernization efforts are under scrutiny, with a group of 26 senators having just requested a delay in implementation until a thorough review can be conducted, as the Federal News Network reports.

Troubling forecast cited

The bipartisan cadre of legislators sent a letter last week to Postmaster Louis DeJoy regarding the “Delivering for America” plan.

The program itself pledged to bring the USPS to a break-even point in Fiscal Year 2023 by instituting a host of processing consolidation strategies and labor adjustments, but unfortunately, a loss of $6.4 billion was realized.

Fiscal Year 2024 now has loss projections of $6.3 billion, according to Citizens Against Government Waste, and in the senators' estimation, the agency's response has not been encouraging.

“USPS is moving forward swifty with plans to consolidate and alter its facilities across the country, making irrevocable changes to its processing and delivery network which links all communities,” the lawmakers' letter explained.

After listing a number of the shifts provided for in the plan, the senators added, “We are concerned about the impacts these changes have had so far, and the potential impacts that further changes could have.”

Senators request pause

Given the questionable outcomes yielded by the Delivering for America plan to date, the letter's signatories stated, “We call on USPS to pause all changes, pending a full study of this plan by its regulator,” namely, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC).

According to the legislators, “USPS must stop implementation, restore service in those areas where changes were implemented, and fully understand the nationwide effects of its plan on service and communities.”

Specifically, the senators want the USPS to “request a comprehensive Advisory Opinion from the Postal Regulatory Commission, which would provide a robust and public process to study the impacts of these changes.”

Though DeJoy has previously indicated a willingness to seek such an opinion, he has not committed to the scope of one, and he has not expressed an openness to halting further program implementation until one is produced.

Careful and deliberate reform sought

Signing onto the letter requesting the aforementioned course of action were Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI), Susan Collins (R-ME), Jacky Rosen (D-NV) Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Michael Bennett (D- CO), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), John Barrasso (R-WY) Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Steve Daines (R-MT), Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Angus King (I-ME), John Hoeven (R-ND), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Jon Tester (D-MT), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Michael Rounds (R-SD), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Margaret Hassan (D-NH), and John Cornyn (R-TX).

As the senators explained, “the Postal Service's primary responsibility is to provide timely and reliable delivery to every community across the nation.”

Hopefully their proactive stance in urging a formal review of the Delivering for America plan will help facilitate the achievement of those objectives at long last.