Jayapal Votes to Save the United States Postal Service After Calling on House Leadership to Immediately Reconvene Congress
SEATTLE—United States Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, voted to save the United States Postal Service just seven days after urging House leadership to immediately reconvene Congress in order to directly counter the Trump administration’s dangerous and coordinated sabotage of the USPS and our elections.
The Delivering for America Act—which passed the House of Representatives today—fully restores Postal Service operations to what they were at the beginning of this year, prohibits the removal of mail boxes and mail sorting machines from post offices and blocks the closing of USPS facilities as well as the reduction of their hours. Additionally, it requires all official election mail to be treated as First-Class, bans prohibitions on overtime pay for postal workers and reverses Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s harmful policies that have delayed mail delivery. The legislation also provides $25 billion in urgently needed emergency funding.
“An attack on the United States Postal Service is an attack on all of us—it’s an attack on health care as millions of families get their prescriptions in the mail, it’s an attack on democracy and our elections as millions plan to safely and securely vote-by-mail, it’s an attack on workers and small businesses as they try to survive this pandemic by shipping goods to customers and it’s an attack on economic stability as payments and checks are being delayed,” said Congresswoman Jayapal. “Today’s vote is an important first step in urgently combating this administration’s sabotage of the USPS and our elections, and I will continue doing everything in my power to directly fight back against these attacks.”
Today’s vote follows an emergency Congressional Progressive Caucus hearing that Representative Jayapal chaired on Thursday. Witnesses included Mark Dimondstein, who is the president of the American Postal Workers Union, and David C. Williams, who served as USPS Inspector General and Vice Chairman of the USPS Board of Governor before recently resigning upon DeJoy’s takeover of the Postal Service. “If this is the beginning of what the president promised, it is the end of the Postal Service,” Williams warned lawmakers. The hearing uncovered several alarming findings—from DeJoy’s corrupt financial conflicts of interest and direct political interference into the USPS by Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to a coordinated scheme that would ultimately destroy the Postal Service while undermining our elections.
On Monday, Congresswoman Jayapal visited the Wallingford post office in Seattle to personally assess the on-the-ground situation. She spoke about the dangerous attacks on the Postal Service and outlined how they threaten Washington’s safe, secure, legitimate and necessary vote-by-mail system. She also shared stories from constituents who have written and called her office deeply concerned about how these recent attacks on the USPS have been hurting their families.
Hundreds of constituents have reached out this week including dozens who are concerned about the impact that mail delays are having on their health. “I normally receive my CPAP and insulin testing equipment by mail,” said Nancy. “These deliveries have taken longer than usual and I’m worried about not receiving them in time.”
“My husband is a veteran who gets his medications from the VA through the USPS,” added Linda. “We are very concerned about delays due to these postal attacks and will be struggling if we don’t receive them soon.”
“I am a Navy Veteran who relies on critical medications reliably arriving via USPS,” said Kestutis. “Any interruption would significantly and negatively impact my health.”
Constituents have also been concerned about the impact this sabotage is having on their financial wellbeing during already dire economic circumstances. “We are no longer receiving our bills on time via USPS so they are being marked as overdue,” said Kathryn. “That has led to us being sent a collection notice of more than $1,000 for medical bills that we have not even received. This is hurting our credit score and the fees are really adding up too.”
“For me, it’s affected by business because I rely on the Postal Service, and I’m worried that I won’t have any way to continue my business,” added Greg. “We had to stop doing business internationally because packages were taking over a month to get there and now we also have a lot of folks who aren’t doing business with us anymore because they’re afraid of the loss.”
“Delivery times have never been this bad,” said Wendy. “I had a check lost in the mail and am still waiting for it to arrive. It makes me worried about other payments being late.”