Postal Service chief, below fireplace, admits ‘unintended penalties’ of his coverage overhaul

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy departs from a gathering with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows within the Capitol on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020.

Caroline Brehman | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

The embattled new chief of the U.S. Postal Service acknowledged in an inside memo to employees that his sweeping operational modifications have introduced “unintended penalties” to the federal government company, NBC News reported Friday.

But Postmaster General Louis DeJoy defended his overhaul of the Post Office regardless of experiences of widespread mail delays and rising scrutiny from lawmakers, mail employees’ unions and the media within the run-up to the 2020 election.

“Let me be clear in regards to the causes behind our restructuring and the necessity for our plan. Our monetary situation is dire,” DeJoy mentioned within the memo, which was despatched to USPS employees on Thursday, NBC reported. “Our critics are fast to level to our funds, but they provide no answer.”

Since beginning his function in June, DeJoy has applied a slew of serious modifications that he says are supposed to stabilize the Post Office, which has seen its financial troubles compounded by the coronavirus pandemic. Those modifications reportedly include crackdowns on time beyond regulation pay and curbing late journeys for mail carriers, in addition to an overhaul of agency leadership.

In the memo, DeJoy admitted: “Unfortunately, this transformative initiative has had unintended penalties that impacted our general service ranges.” He did not elaborate on particular penalties.

He added: “However, current modifications are usually not the one contributing elements. Over the years we have now grown undisciplined in our mail and package deal processing schedules, inflicting a rise in delayed mail between processing amenities and supply models.”

Lawmakers of each events have known as on DeJoy to reverse his new insurance policies. Democrats concern that the modifications may impression the presidential race, the place a document variety of voters are anticipated to solid their ballots by mail to keep away from risking publicity to the coronavirus.

Worries in regards to the election have solely grown this week amid experiences of USPS warning states that it can not assure all mail-in ballots will arrive in time to be counted within the presidential race.

Forty-six states and Washington, D.C., have acquired letters from the company’s basic counsel, Thomas J. Marshall, The Washington Post reported Friday. The letters had been issued on the finish of July and deliberate earlier than DeJoy was chosen as the brand new postmaster basic, in keeping with the newspaper.

In remarks on the Postal Service Board of Governors open session assembly final week, DeJoy insisted that USPS has “ample capability to ship all election mail securely and on-time in accordance with our supply requirements, and we’ll achieve this.”

DeJoy is a main donor to Republicans and committees supporting President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly claimed widespread mail-in voting will result in a fraudulent election.

Federal funding for the Post Office has develop into a central sticking level within the White House’s negotiations with Democrats over a further coronavirus reduction package deal. Democrats suggest one other spherical of stimulus ought to embrace $25 billion for the Postal Service, in addition to $3.6 billion in election funding.

Trump has mentioned he opposes these gadgets and has recommended he can quash efforts to increase mail-in voting by denying these funds.

But at a White House press briefing Friday, Trump mentioned he was open to reaching an settlement on the funding if Democrats “give us what we would like.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the highest Democrats in Congress, who had been locked in negotiations with the White House earlier than talks fell aside, mentioned in an announcement later Friday that Trump’s feedback “affirm that no patriotic custom is immune from his abuse of energy.”

“The President made plain that he’ll manipulate the operations of the Post Office to disclaim eligible voters the poll in pursuit of his personal re-election,” the assertion mentioned. “The President’s personal phrases verify: he must cheat to win.”

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