State attorneys general oppose USPS plan to slow mail delivery

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Officials say the move would harm consumers, businesses, and state governments

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) faces strong opposition to its money-saving proposal that would slow some first-class mail and make it more expensive.

The attorneys general of 20 states and the District of Columbia have filed a statement of position with the Postal Regulatory Commission that seeks to block the changes from going into effect, threatening to go to court if necessary.

In March, USPS Postmaster General and CEO Louis DeJoy proposed changing the current standard for first-class mail delivery, giving USPS more time to deliver it. He said the plan, along with an increase in first-class postage, would head off a $160 billion deficit over the next 10 years. 

"The need for the U.S. Postal Service to transform to meet the needs of our customers is long overdue," DeJoy said at the time. "Our plan calls for growth and investments, as well as targeted cost reductions and other strategies that will enable us to operate in a precise and efficient manner to meet future challenges, as we put the Postal Service on a path for financial sustainability and service excellence."

Disruptive to government functions

But the state officials, joined by leaders from New York City and San Francisco, said the plan would disrupt state government functions and urged the commission to reject the plan.

USPS currently has a goal of delivering first-class mail between one to three days. That would change to one to five days for 39% of first-class mail, a change the state officials found unacceptable.

“For nearly a year now, we have had to fight the United States Postal Service tooth and nail to fulfill its mission and provide timely delivery of mail, medications, paychecks, ballots, and other essentials to Americans across the nation,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James. “Now, instead of fixing the problems that remain delinquent a year later, Postmaster General DeJoy wants to lead the USPS in making further service cuts that would only result in more delays.”

The position statement called on the commission to require the postal service instead to focus its efforts on “correcting the mistakes” of the previous year that delayed mail delivery during the especially busy holiday season of 2020. 

The states and cities said the proposed changes would be felt with negative effects in up to 96% of U.S. ZIP codes. 

“The Postal Regulatory Commission should reject these changes and direct the USPS to take action to resume USPS service to what it once was,” the officials said. “If they don’t, we will not hesitate to use every tool at our disposal to hold the USPS accountable.”

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