Officials demand Trump end attacks on USPS

Menendez stood with postal workers in front of the Union City Post Office

Sen. Bob Menendez
×
Sen. Bob Menendez

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, state Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, and Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise joined New Jersey postal workers outside the main Union City Post Office on Aug. 17 to demand President Trump end his assault on the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).

Recent operational changes at the USPS made at the direction of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy have led to a nationwide mail slowdown that threatens timely delivery of paychecks and lifesaving prescriptions and hurts businesses that rely on the mail to ship products.

Outrage has grown exponentially in recent weeks as many fear thesechanges may affect the presidential election in November, which will be conducted primarily by mail-in voting.

“The President of the United States is on record saying he will not fund the post office because he believes it’s in his personal, political interest to disrupt and discredit the election process and disenfranchise millions of voters,” Menendez said.

“If the administration continues down this path of de-funding the postal service, our democracy and economy will suffer. Families, small businesses, and thousands of front-line postal workers will be put in harm’s way.  And it’s not an exaggeration to say that innocent people will get hurt.”

Increasing USPS funding

Menendez has helped lead efforts to include increased USPS funding in the next COVID-19 stimulus package to help the post office handle increased shipping demands and expansion of mail-in voting due to the pandemic.

Trump has said that he would block those efforts, specifically to prevent mail-in voting.

“If we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money,” Trump said. “That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting; they just can’t have it.”

As New Jersey takes steps to expand Vote-By-Mail for the November election, the USPS recently warned 46 states, including New Jersey, that it would not be able to deliver all mail-in ballots in time to be counted.

“This is a dangerous attack on our nation and our democracy,” Menendez said. “But instead of giving the Post Office the support it needs, this president—with the help of his political crony, Postmaster General DeJoy—is doing everything he can to undermine, delay, and outright stop the mail.”

The president of the New Jersey State Association of Letter Carriers, Richard O’Connell, Jr., and several postal workers stood beside Menendez and described how the USPS slowdown is impacting their work and New Jersey residents.

“As they risk their health each day along with other front-line essential workers, letter carriers have become angry, frustrated, and embarrassed by various USPS management initiatives that are now resulting in delayed mail and undelivered routes in many areas of the country,” said O’Connell, Jr.  “The Postal Service must provide reliable service to postal customers, particularly during the pandemic when our role is more essential than ever.”

DeJoy confirmed to Congress that he directed a reorganization of USPS leadership, functions, and operational changes in post offices and processing centers that include cuts in overtime, mail transportation routes, and equipment at mail processing plants.

The USPS is reportedly removing collection boxes in many communities without warning, while at the same time inexplicably considering post office closures.

All 47 Senate Democrats, including Menendez and Sen. Cory Booker, sent a letter to Postmaster General DeJoy last week, calling on him to address the mail delays, halt planned Vote-By-Mail price hikes, and explain his actions that have led to nationwide mail disruptions.

DeJoy is set to testify on the operational changes at the USPS before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Aug. 21.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.