Underwood Statement on Support for Legislation to Give Critical Support to U.S. Postal Service
WASHINGTON— Ahead of Saturday’s House vote on critical legislation to save the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) released the following statement on her support for the Delivering for America Act (H.R. 8015), legislation that will be voted on in the House of Representatives Saturday, August 22.
“A well-functioning postal service is critical to each and every community in our country. Illinoisans rely on the USPS for the delivery of life-saving medications, operating small businesses, staying connected with family and friends, exercising their Constitutional right to vote, and other essential needs. Delays in delivery directly threaten the health and wellbeing of Americans across our nation—particularly now—as we endure the health and economic crises brought on by COVID-19 and prepare for an election.
“The recent changes to postal standards made by the Trump Administration and Postmaster General DeJoy are absolutely unacceptable. To date, we have already seen significant service delays across the county. While Postmaster General DeJoy’s announcement this week to delay additional changes until after the election is helpful, it is completely insufficient to correct the damage that has already been done. We need the postal service to return to normal operation, and we must ensure that USPS has the resources necessary to serve our communities during COVID-19, the elections in November, and beyond.
“I look forward to strongly supporting the passage of the Delivering for America Act to protect this vital service that so many rely on and provide $25 billion in critical funding to immediately support the postal service.”
The Delivering for America Act, co-sponsored by Underwood, would prohibit the Postal Service from implementing or approving any changes to the operations or service levels in effect on January 1, 2020, that would impede prompt, reliable, and efficient service for the duration of the coronavirus crisis or through January 2021. Specifically, the bill would prohibit:
- Any change that would generally affect service on a nationwide or substantially nationwide basis.
- Any revision of existing service standards.
- Closing, consolidating, or reducing the hours of any post office or postal facility.
- The removal of mail sorting machines and mailboxes.
- Any prohibition on paying overtime to Postal Service officers or employees.
- Any change that would have the effect of delaying mail or increasing the volume of undelivered mail.
The Delivering for America Act would also require USPS to treat all official election mail as First-Class mail, to be delivered within 1-3 days.
Underwood has been a strong supporter of the USPS. In May, Underwood voted to pass the Heroes Act (H.R. 6800) which included $25 billion in emergency funding for the Postal Service Fund to support USPS, protect local postal workers with personal protective equipment, and ensure timely mail delivery during the coronavirus pandemic. Underwood is also a cosponsor of the Protect Our Post Offices Act (H.R. 6425), a standalone bill that would provide $25 billion in emergency funds to USPS. On August 6, Underwood joined Senator Durbin in a letter expressing concerns about delays in letter and parcel deliveries in Illinois. On August 20, Underwood joined Representative Dingell (MI-12) and over 100 other Members in a bipartisan letter urging Postmaster General DeJoy to put a plan in place to ensure the proper delivery of mail-in ballots.