Postal Service Won’t Make Changes Until After The Election, After All

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( In a quick reversal Tuesday afternoon, Louis DeJoy, the postmaster general announced he would be suspending changes at the U.S. Postal Service until after November’s General Election.

He said he made this decision to “avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail.”

DeJoy instituted a large range of cost-cutting initiatives at the USPS recently that have given rise to concerns about how November’s presidential election could be impacted. With a huge increase in mail-in ballots predicted for this election, many people were concerned the changes could significantly delay the receipt of these ballots – or invalidate them altogether.

The changes that DeJoy is temporarily delaying are “longstanding operational initiatives” that “predate my arrival at the Postal Service,” he said in a statement Tuesday.

DeJoy didn’t announce the specific changes that he would be temporarily suspending. However, he did provide people with certain assurances.

Post offices will not change their retail hours. Some mail processing facilities that were set to close will stay open for now. Equipment that handles mail processing will also not be removed. Finally, DeJoy announced “overtime has, and will continue to be, approved as needed.”

Democrats have been highly critical of DeJoy and the changes he made at the USPS since being appointed by a board of governors – all of whom were appointed by President Donald Trump.

These changes have already resulted in significant delays in the delivery of mail, according to many people. There also has been a lot of concern among liberals that Trump was pressuring DeJoy to make these changes in an attempt to manipulate the upcoming election.

In an emergency action, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called members of the House of Representatives back to Washington, D.C., from recess to vote on a bill that prohibit the USPS from making any changes to service until after the election. The House wasn’t scheduled to return from their normal August recess until September 14.

More than a dozen states that are led by Democrats are also planning to sue the Trump administration over the changes. There is no word as of yet whether these states will still move forward with the planned legal action after DeJoy’s decision to suspend the changes for now.

DeJoy denied that he was acting to try to manipulate the election when he instituted these changes. In Tuesday’s statement, he said:

“I came to the Postal Service to make changes to secure the success of this organization and its long-term sustainability. I believe significant reforms are essential to that objective, and work toward those reforms will commence after the election.

“In the meantime, there are some longstanding operational initiatives – efforts that predate my arrival at the Postal Service – that have been raised as areas of concern as the nation prepares to hold an election in the midst of a devastating pandemic. To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded.”

Beyond just halting the planned changes, DeJoy said the USPS will add “standby resources in all areas of our operations” to help the agency handle “any unforeseen demand.” This will begin in October.

The statement also said a taskforce that currently exists for election mail will be expanded in that time period leading up to the election.