Wyden, Merkley, DeFazio, Blumenauer, Bonamici, Schrader Demand Postmaster General End Deliberate Slowdown of Mail Delivery

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici and Kurt Schrader today demanded that U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy rescind his orders that have unacceptably slowed mail delivery across Oregon and the nation. 

In their letter to DeJoy, the Oregon lawmakers noted their concerns are heightened by the raging pandemic and the Nov. 3 election just weeks away. They wrote that DeJoy’s actions at Donald Trump’s behest deliberately threaten the delivery of needed medications and undermine the functioning of the state’s proven vote-by-mail system during the window when ballots are mailed to voters and Election Day.

“In July, you instructed mail carriers to “leave mail behind at distribution centers” if mail could not be completely distributed without overtime, and you eliminated overtime, which letter carriers typically use to complete mail distribution,” wrote Wyden, Merkley, DeFazio, Blumenauer, Bonamici and Schrader. “This needless and reckless change in precedent has already led to delayed delivery of bills, checks and prescription drugs.”

 “Unexpected delays at any point during this window could easily prevent Oregonians’ and Americans’ ballots from counting in the November 3 general election,” the Oregon lawmakers wrote. “USPS’ own General Counsel Thomas Marshall has said the same. Make no mistake: We consider these contrived delays to be blatant election interference.”

Wyden, Merkley, DeFazio, Blumenauer, Bonamici and Schrader said the Postal Service needs support and investment to continue reliably serving all Americans and our constituents, not arbitrary bureaucratic hurdles and slowdowns. 

“We in Congress are working to provide significant funding for USPS to ensure both its long-term solvency and capacity to handle an influx of mail-in ballots this fall,” they wrote. “If you and the President are truly concerned about the capability of USPS to deliver for Americans, you should work with House, Senate and Executive leadership to fix the problem—not further cut service standards under the guise of operational efficiencies.

“It is shameful and disheartening to watch partisan actions consume this proud American institution that connects Oregon to its neighbors and our nation,” they wrote. “We demand on behalf of our constituents that you rescind your orders and restore full service and functionality to the Postal Service immediately.

The entire letter is here.