NEW JERSEY – U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) this week joined members of the New Jersey congressional delegation to call on U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to provide answers to why New Jersey residents have had mail delivery delayed for multiple days, including the delivery of critical medicines.
“Many of our constituents have rightly contacted our offices to express frustration and concern about ongoing mail delivery delays, some of whom have not received their medications and first-class mail for more than three days,” said the Members in a letter to Postmaster General DeJoy. “While we understand the serious and ongoing financial challenges facing the USPS, we are gravely concerned that operational decisions that knowingly cause the USPS to fail to meet its own service delivery standards could cause catastrophic harm to people all over New Jersey and the country.”
The delays come after public reporting that the U.S. Postal Service “established major operational changes…that could slow down mail delivery,” Gottheimer said.
These delays have been detailed in separate public reporting, including a local postal employee stating, “Mail is sitting for a week to 10 days before they’re even scanned to go out,” Gottheimer said.
In the letter, the Members outlined the following questions to the Postmaster General:
- Why have New Jersey residents experienced significant delivery delays of their mail?
- What measures has USPS taken to protect the integrity of our democratic elections, and ensure ballots are handled securely and delivered on time?
- On July 28th, 2020 your Government Relations Representative stated that while “management is developing a business plan…Postal Service management is also taking immediate steps to increase operational efficiency by re-emphasizing existing operational plans…” What are these immediate steps?
- Has postal management at one or more Post Offices eliminated overtime for postal workers, ended the authorization of late trips, and required postal workers to return first-class mail and medications they did not have time to deliver since July 1, 2020? If so, what are the impacts of these changes on service delivery standards?
- Why did a mid-level USPS manager and Southern Area leadership prepare and circulate statements regarding measures that resulted in mail delays, which your office stated should not be considered “official Postal Service memoranda?” Was that employee authorized to do so?
- Did the memo and “stand up talk” comply with USPS standards? Were they authorized at any higher level? And, were any other “unofficial” memoranda or “stand up talks” prepared and delivered elsewhere around the country? If so, where?
- What impact, if any, will the $10 billion loan the USPS recently accepted from the Treasury Department have upon delivery delays and delivery standards?
The letter is signed by Congressman Gottheimer (NJ-5), Congressman Kim (NJ-3), Congressman Norcross (NJ-1), Congressman Pallone (NJ-6), Congressman Malinowski (NJ-7), Congressman Sires (NJ-8), Congressman Pascrell (NJ-9), Congressman Payne Jr. (NJ-10), Congresswoman Sherill (NJ-11), and Congresswoman Watson-Coleman (NJ-12).