WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today voted with a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives to halt recent changes at the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) that have resulted in delivery slowdowns in Central Virginia and across the country. In recent weeks, some of these changes have included curtailing overtime for USPS employees, restricting delivering services, and eliminating sorting machines.
Since the beginning of August 2020, Spanberger’s office has received more than 2,000 individual emails and calls from Central Virginians expressing concerns about delays at USPS. Earlier this week, Spanberger launched a public survey to gather information from Central Virginia families, seniors, and businesses about any mail delivery delays they are experiencing and their concerns about the future of the USPS. This week, her survey has already received more than 800 personal stories from constituents about the impacts of delivery slowdowns.
The Spanberger-cosponsored Delivering for America Act would prohibit the USPS from making any changes to its operations or service levels that impede prompt, reliable, and efficient service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation seeks to stabilize the USPS at a time when many Americans — including thousands in Central Virginia — are relying on home deliveries and reliable mail service more than ever.
“In Central Virginia, we rely on the U.S. Postal Service for the delivery of our mail and packages in a timely, affordable manner — regardless of zip code. However, recent changes by Postmaster General DeJoy have jeopardized the ability of our dedicated Postal Workers to maintain this trusted level of universal service. Just in the last week, I’ve heard from hundreds of seniors, veterans, and small businesses who are worried about delays in the delivery of their prescription medications, bills, and customer orders,” said Spanberger. “There should be nothing partisan about mail delivery and service here in the United States — and today I was proud to vote in support of legislation to preserve and protect this integral American institution. Instead of dismantling and calling into question the integrity of our Postal System, we should take actual steps to address the root causes of the Postal Service’s financial difficulties — and we should make every effort to protect USPS operations ahead of the November election and beyond.”
Spanberger’s vote builds on her efforts to provide the USPS with the resources it needs to maintain operations in the Commonwealth and across the country. In May 2020, she joined fellow Members of the Virginia delegation in calling on congressional leadership to include provisions guaranteeing the solvency and continuation of the USPS in an upcoming COVID-19 recovery package.
Specifically, the bipartisan Delivering for America Act 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,
- Any prohibition on paying overtime to Postal Service officers or employees,
- Any change that would prevent the Postal Service from meeting its service standards or cause a decline in measurements of performance relative to those standards, and
- Any change that would have the effect of delaying mail or increasing the volume of undelivered mail.
The Postal Service is the only organization dedicated to providing regular, affordable mail delivery service to every residential and business address in the United States. In 2019, the Postal Service:
- Delivered 142.6 billion pieces of mail to 160 million addresses in America,
- Delivered 1.2 billion prescriptions, including the vast majority of medications sent through the VA,
- Employed 633,108 Americans, including more than 100,000 veterans, and
- Served 70 percent of businesses with fewer than 10 employees.