Pascrell Seeks New Investigation of Trump-Engineered USPS Destruction
Cites Constituent Complaints about Reduced Service from Across Congressional District
Washington, August 12, 2020
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) today demanded another investigation of the turmoil at the United States Postal Service (USPS). Amid verified local and national reports that Trump’s new Postmaster General is deliberately delaying deliveries and seeking to wreck voting-by-mail for the November elections, Pascrell has again called on USPS Inspector General Tammy Whitcomb to probe the Trump-engineered attacks on USPS.
“I write to request an investigation by the United States Postal Service Office of the Inspector General to determine whether recent operational changes imposed by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy have undermined or will undermine timely delivery of mail, including medications, ballots for elections, census forms, tax refunds, social security checks, and other time-sensitive items,” Rep. Pascrell writes.
Rep. Pascrell also asks the IG to look at whether DeJoy himself stands to reap financial windfalls from his wrecking of USPS: “Possible conflicts of interest are also worrisome given that Mr. DeJoy holds between $30.1 million and $75.3 million in assets in USPS contractors and competitors. He would stand to personally benefit if those very same logistics companies wound up filling in the service gaps created from his directive.”
On May 21, Pascrell wrote to USPS IG Whitcomb demanding an investigation of turmoil at the USPS, purportedly stemming from a pattern of interference engineered by the Trump administration in its efforts to destabilize the post office.
Pascrell has been a leader in Congress demanding reform to return the USPS to its former glory and strengthen it so it remains an integral part of American life, goals he outlined in a well-received April 2019 essay in Washington Monthly. Pascrell is a cosponsor of H.R. 2382, the USPS Fairness Act that would finally remove the health care prefunding anchor that has been strangling USPS since 2007. Pascrell is also a strong supporter of widespread postal banking, and in June 2019 his bipartisan amendment allocating $1 million to begin funding a postal banking system was passed by the House of Representatives.
A copy of Rep. Pascrell’s latest complaint is available here, the text of which is provided below.
August 12, 2020
The Honorable Tammy L. Whitcomb
United States Postal Service
1735 N. Lynn Street
Arlington, VA 22209
Dear Ms. Whitcomb:
I write to request an investigation by the United States Postal Service (“USPS”) Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”) to determine whether recent operational changes imposed by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy have undermined or will undermine timely delivery of mail, including medications, ballots for elections, census forms, tax refunds, social security checks, and other time-sensitive items. Based on constituent accounts and public reporting, I am concerned that recent directives from Postmaster General DeJoy have hindered postal operations.. These actions demand immediate scrutiny and thorough investigation by your office.
As you know, USPS handles 47 percent of the world’s mail, delivering nearly 150 billion mail pieces annually. Abiding by the Universal Service Obligation (USO), USPS has long been held in high regard by the American public for its timely and affordable delivery of mail across every zip code. The recent operational changes call into question whether USPS will be able to meet USO obligations and the American public’s expectation going forward.
Postmaster General DeJoy’s directive on July 10 to employees cuts overtime by eliminating “late or extra trips to deliver mail” and acknowledges “mail may be left behind on the workroom floor.” These actions are an unprecedented change in contravention of the USO to maintain “delivery and rural delivery of mail at not less than the 1983 level”. While Postmaster General DeJoy claims these measures will save USPS $200 million annually, in 2019 the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) found that it was “6.83% more cost efficient to have a career employee work an overtime hour instead of onboarding an additional career employee and having them work the hour at straight time”.
My constituents and the American public rely on USPS for timely delivery of lifesaving medications, protective equipment, and to safely cast their ballots. Following the implementation of these new operational standards, my office has heard from hundreds of my constituents that their mail has been slower than ever before. A few of these recent experiences are highlighted below:
My constituents are not alone. There have been many reports of slower delivery of mail across our nation.   Potential damage to public trust in the long beloved postal service would be catastrophic to the solvency and longevity of USPS. These actions will not result in the cost savings that Postmaster General DeJoy claims to be the impetus behind these destructive operational changes. Possible conflicts of interest are also worrisome given that Mr. DeJoy holds between $30.1 million and $75.3 million in assets in USPS contractors and competitors. He would stand to personally benefit if those very same logistics companies wound up filling in the service gaps created from his directive.
USPS is critical to existing local and statewide vote-by-mail (VBM) elections. Solvency of USPS without an interruption in regular operations is necessary to successfully facilitate the next national election on November 3, 2020. There is no excuse for leaving VBM ballots “on the workroom floor” and any delay in the delivery of ballots to and from voters per the recent directive would put the legitimate votes of the public at risk of not being counted and pose an existential threat to the integrity of our national election.
I ask that you investigate whether these operational changes are in contravention of the USO to maintain timely delivery of mail. Further, I ask that you investigate whether these changes undermine customer confidence in USPS, competitiveness with the private sector, and the timely delivery of critically important mail items. Thank you for your immediate attention to this request.
Bill Pascrell, Jr.
Member of Congress
 Public Law No: 116-93