Higgins Announces Approval of the Delivering for America Act
(To access video click above or go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4D7-xxXA2ao )
Higgins spoke on the House floor in support of the legislation, which he is cosponsoring, saying in part, “for 228 years the United States Postal Service has delivered for the American people. It's an institution built on trust. Trust that the United States military veterans will receive their prescriptions each and every month. Trust that Social Security recipients will receive their checks each and every month. Trust that small businesses can manage and grow with the assistance the United States Postal Service. Today, the trust and confidence of the United States Postal Service is under attack by the very Administration and Postmaster General who should be protecting the time-honored tradition of that institution. This House will approve today the delivering for American Act; an Act to protect the United States Postal Service from the destructive acts of the President and his Postmaster disaster.”
Highlights of the Delivering for America Act include:
- Prohibiting any revision of existing service standards or changes that cause delayed mail
- Prohibiting closing, consolidating or reducing hours at postal facilities
- Requiring the Postal Service to postmark and treat all election mail as first-class mail
- Reversing restrictions on overtime for Postal workers so mail can continue to be delivered on-time
- Providing the $25 billion in emergency aid, to address the additional costs and financial losses due to COVID, requested by the USPS Board of Governors in April.
Before leaving for the vote, Congressman Higgins joined Western New York postal workers and residents outside the William Street mail processing facility in Buffalo to express opposition to recent changes which threaten the future of the Postal Service.
Under the direction of the Postmaster General, 671 pieces of mail processing equipment were removed from postal facilities across the nation. This includes the removal of a quarter of the mail sorters – 5 out of 20 - from Buffalo and nearly a quarter of the sorters – 4 out of 17 – from the Rochester facility.
USPS performance documents show a significant drop in efficiency and delayed mail since Postmaster DeJoy was sworn in on June 15 and implemented changes.
Following mounting public pressure, earlier this week the Postmaster issued a statement indicating plans to hold off on additional USPS changes until after the election. Higgins pointed out this does nothing to undo the harm already done or protect the USPS come November. During a Friday Senate Hearing, the Postmaster confirmed he has no plans to return the equipment already removed.
In addition to the removal of machines, the Postmaster has issued sweeping directives that undermine the traditional 1-2 day service standards which have been customary for the Postal Service. Higgins was among over 170 members objecting to these changes.
The Senate must act now to protect the USPS. The President has threatened to veto the legislation.