Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring) held a press conference on Thursday, September 3 outside of the Newburgh Post Office to discuss the recently passed bipartisan bill, Delivering for America Act, as well as other recent changes that have impacted the United States Postal Service (USPS).
The bipartisan bill will provide $25 billion in funding to “respond to the economic stress put on the USPS during the COVID-19 pandemic and protect the long-term viability of the USPS.”
“The United States Post Office has been undergoing a tremendous strain because of the pandemic,” said Maloney. “Something like a billion fewer pieces of first class mail have been sent during the pandemic.”
The bill will delay service changes until after the end of COVID-19, ban the reduction of operations to levels below what the USPS had in place on January 1, 2020, prevent closures of post offices and reduced hours and prohibit denial of overtime pay to USPS.
The bill was one response to the recent appointment of the new Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy.
“It’s particularly disturbing when in June of this year, the administration appointed a megadonor to be the Postmaster General,” said Maloney. “And Postmaster General DeJoy immediately enacted a series of changes that created major service disruptions in the post office.”
DeJoy said in an August 18th statement, “The Postal Service is ready today to handle whatever volume of election mail it receives this fall… we will deliver the nation’s election mail on time and within our well-established service standards.”
Maloney responded to this sentiment at the recent press conference.
“I don’t care what your politics are, you should be able to vote by mail if you are medically vulnerable,” said Maloney. “DeJoy needs to let us have a free and fair election and get people their mail in a timely way.”
Maloney wants to ensure the sustainability and success of the USPS past the election as well.
He stated that over 4,000 people have reached out to his office about “the degradation of the postal service.”
“That is not because of the good people working at the post office, it is not because of the people who get up every day and who have been risking their health to get the mail to the rest of us during the pandemic.”
He is calling for an elimination of the “artificial financial crisis” and the stop of “shady changes that have been happening in the middle of the pandemic and presidential election.”
“We don’t say that NASA loses billions of dollars a year, we say that they invest our tax dollars in extraordinary discoveries, and in ways that we think are important to our larger society,” said Maloney in regards to the USPS’ financial stability. “And what is more important than the constitutionally enshrined function of the post office? It’s the one thing all Americans count on.”
The USPS has been at the frontline of the pandemic, where 7,700 workers tested positive for COVID-19 at some point. There were also a number of USPS workers who have lost their lives.
“We need the post office, not just for one election, we need it everyday,” said Maloney. “We’re going to make sure, one way or another, the post office gets the resources it needs.”