Friday, October 29, 2021

20 State Attorneys General Sue USPS

On October 1, 2021 Postmaster General Louis DeJoy officially implemented his sweeping 10-year USPS restructuring plan that slows mail delivery while making it much more expensive to mail letters and packages. In mid-October twenty state attorneys general filed a complaint over DeJoy’s plan. 

The AG’s suit against the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) argues that the Postal Service didn’t fully vet DeJoy’s 10-year plan. “The Plan will transform virtually every aspect of the Postal Service… rework how the Postal Service transports mail and other products; overhaul its processing and logistics network; enact slower service standards for First-Class Mail and Periodicals and First-Class Packages Services; reconfigure the location of places where customers can obtain postal products and services; and adjust rates,” the attorneys general said in a joint statement.

“Postmaster General DeJoy’s plan to transform the Postal Service will impact mail delivery for everyone in Pennsylvania and across the nation,” said Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro. “This plan is being enacted without any meaningful oversight and review, and the Postal Regulatory Commission, states, experts, and the public deserve to have their voices heard.”

DeJoy’s “radical” plan could “destroy the timely mail service that people depend on for medications, bill payments, and business operations in rural parts of the state,” North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said in a separate statement.

The complaint charges that the DeJoy plan “reflects multiple unprecedented changes in the Postal Service’s operations and service, at a time when reliance on the mail remains at historic levels, and states across the country are grappling with a resurgence of COVID-19 cases caused by the Delta variant.” The AGs argue that “[t]o date, the Postal Service has only submitted two requests for an advisory opinion to the Commission on important but narrow changes that represent only a small portion of the Plan’s scope.”

“Implementing the full breadth of these changes without adhering to the process set forth in section 3661(b) deprives users of the mail of their statutory rights, and undermines public accountability,” the complaint asserts. “In addition, failing to seek the Commission’s expert review on such a transformational change upsets the statutory balance established by the [Postal Regulatory Act], deprives the Postal Service of the Commission’s expert recommendations, risks significant errors in the Postal Service’s decision-making, and ultimately harms all who rely on the Postal Service for timely and efficient mail.”

Earlier this year, in June, the the state AGs sent a letter to the PRC asking the commission to reject DeJoy’s proposed plan. The the letter thestate AGs said the plan reflects a “flawed philosophy that would prioritize the services it offers in competitive markets over those that it alone provides and on which countless Americans depend.” They argued that purposely delaying mail delivery would violate the USPS’s statutory duty to provide “regular and effective” access to postal services for everyone, mainly rural areas, and pointed out that the mail delays and USPS crisis experienced last year were found to be unlawfulby four different federal judges.

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