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What's going on with the post office? Questions linger with USPS chief set to testify

Sen. Peters, AG Nessel discuss concerns over USPS changes in FOX 17 interview
Posted at 10:14 PM, Aug 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-18 22:22:34-04

(WXMI) — The U.S. Postmaster General says he’s halting changes to the postal service until after the November election, after facing criticism amid slowing service.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy will testify in front of congresslater this week.

The President Trump-appointed USPS leader is being criticized for recent cost-cutting measures, that many believe have slowed deliveries and could impact how mail-in ballots are processed come November.

“I've had conflicting answers from the Postmaster General's office, but we want to know, if you've put in these new procedures what sort of data, did you use? Why did you think these procedures would actually help and make mail delivery more efficient? Because clearly, it's not,” Senator Gary Peters, D-Michigan said.

Peters launched an investigation into those changes and spoke with FOX 17 about his concerns.

“The fact that folks don't have overtime, the fact that trucks are leaving the post offices without full loads, the fact that some of the processors and the sorters are being taken out. All are very concerning,” Peters said.

A postal worker reached out to FOX 17 on Tuesday and told us to check out the UPS facility on Patterson Ave. in Grand Rapids.

We did, and we found a large machine sitting in the back parking lot.

That worker and a local union leader told us it’s a flat sorting machine and according to them one of two that have been removed from that location under directive by the Postmaster General.

They say both were working fine prior to their removal.

We reached out to USPS for comment but they didn’t address it and sent us a written statement from DeJoy, who says the cost-cutting measures and directives will be halted until after the election to, “avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail.”

“It’s horrifying and that’s why we are so determined to go to court,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said.

On Tuesday, Michigan became one of 13 states to file a lawsuit against the USPS. Nessel says the lawsuit claims the initial changes made by the postmaster general were unlawful.

“Why would anyone want to make our mail service less proficient than in spending the past, it just it absolutely doesn't make sense. Of course the timing is very suspicious,” Nessel said.

‘I don't care if you're a Republican, a Democrat, an independent, or what your political persuasion is, everyone has the right to be able to vote by mail now if you are an eligible voter, and everybody deserves to have their ballot counted in time,” she added.

You can read the full statement from Postmaster General DeJoy here.

Meanwhile, House Democrats are expecting to vote later this week on giving the USPS a $25 billion funding boost.