Thursday, August 13, 2020

Trump Administration's Deliberate Sabotage of the U.S. Postal Service

“The head of the Iowa Postal Workers Union alleged Tuesday that mail sorting machines are ‘being removed’ from Post Offices in her state due to new policies imposed by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a major GOP donor to President Donald Trump whose operational changes have resulted in dramatic mail slowdowns across the nation.

“Asked by NPR's Noel King whether she has felt the impact of DeJoy's changes, Iowa Postal Workers Union President Kimberly Karol—a 30-year Postal Service veteran—answered in the affirmative, saying ‘mail is beginning to pile up in our offices, and we're seeing equipment being removed.’

“Karol went on to specify that ‘equipment that we use to process mail for delivery’—including sorting machines—is being removed from Postal Service facilities in Iowa as DeJoy rushes ahead with policies that, according to critics, are sabotaging the Postal Service's day-to-day operations less than 90 days before an election that could hinge on mail-in ballots.

“‘In Iowa, we are losing machines. And they already in Waterloo were losing one of those machines. So that also hinders our ability to process mail in the way that we had in the past,’ added Karol, who said she is ‘not a fan’ of the postmaster general. Washington state election officials have also raised concerns about the removal of mail sorting machines…

“According to internal Postal Service memos obtained by Reuters, DeJoy—a former logistics executive with tens of millions invested in USPS competitors—was aware his operational changes would lead to mail delays. As Reuters reported:

“‘The reorganization, introduced in July, has resulted in thousands of delayed letters in southern Maine, as delivery drivers follow a new directive to leave on time, even if the mail has not been loaded. Delays have also been reported in at least 18 other states, according to media reports.’

“‘One aspect of these changes that may be difficult for employees is that—temporarily—we may see mail left behind or mail on the workroom floor or docks,’ says one memo, dated July 10. The plan hopes to eliminate 64 million working hours nationally to reduce personnel costs, according to another memo.

“In a statement over the weekend, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) warned that Dejoy's ‘nefarious collective efforts will suppress millions of mail-in ballots and threaten the voting rights of millions of Americans, setting the stage for breach of our Constitution.’…” (“A Conspiracy to Steal the Election, Folks”: Alarms Sound after Postal Worker Report Removal of Sorting Machines).

“Declaring that Congress must act swiftly to ‘stop the Trump administration's deliberate sabotage’ of the U.S. Postal Service ahead of the November elections, House Democrats on Wednesday [August 12] unveiled legislation that would reverse Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's disruptive new policies and prevent additional changes at the agency until the end of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Sponsored by House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), the Delivering for America Act (pdf) would bar USPS leadership from implementing or approving ‘any change to the operations or the level of service provided by the Postal Service from those in effect on January 1, 2020, that would impede prompt reliable, and efficient services.’

“Specifically, the legislation would prohibit:
  • Any change in the nature of postal services which will generally affect service on a nationwide or substantially nationwide basis;
  • Any revision of service standards;
  • Any closure or consolidation any post office or reduction of facility hours;
  • Any prohibition on payments of overtime pay to Postal Service officers or employees;
  • Any change that would prevent the Postal Service from meeting its service standards or cause a decline in measurements of performance relative to those service standards;
  • Any change that would have the effect of delaying mail, allowing for the non-delivery of mail to a delivery route, or increasing the volume of undelivered mail.
“‘Our Postal Service should not become an instrument of partisan politics, but instead must be protected as a neutral, independent entity that focuses on one thing and one thing only—delivering the mail,’ Maloney said in a statement. ‘Millions of people rely on the Postal Service every day to communicate, to access critical medications, and to vote’…” (House Democrats Introduce Bill to End “Deliberate Sabotage” of Postal Service by Postmaster General).

“…During the past decade, Republican officials and funders have built a massive network of voter-suppression operatives who use legal technicalities, poll closures, fraud, fearmongering and plain old thuggish intimidation of voters to shut out people inclined to support Democratic candidates. Rather than winning votes, their game is preventing votes.

“Now comes the manipulator in chief with a demented and pernicious scheme to prevent millions of people — maybe you — from having their say in November's election. Here's the deal: Because of the spreading COVID-19 health crisis, a majority of Americans are either afraid or outright unwilling to go stand in line at crowded polling places. Shouldn't be a problem, though. Just let everyone who's concerned use our nation's excellent, reliable, trusted postal service to cast their votes by mail.

“Aha, exulted Donald Trump, if I ban mail-in ballots and force in-person voting, turnout will shrivel, and I'll win because my supporters would eat a COVID virus to get to vote for me! Alas, he couldn't just ban vote by mail, though, since five states already do it and anyone over 65 is allowed to do it.

“Plan B: Defund the U.S. Postal Service so it can't do its job, thus eliminating the mail option. In March, he personally killed a bipartisan provision in the national economic rescue package that would've assured continuous delivery of our mail. Then, in May, he installed one of his partisan mega donors as postmaster general. And the postmaster is now sabotaging delivery times by arbitrarily slashing the hours of postal workers.

“Like a petty third-world potentate, Trump is willing to destroy a prized national asset in a pathetic attempt to cling to power. To help stop him, go to the grassroots alliance rallying to save our public post office — and our right to vote:” (Want to Get into Some “Good Trouble”? Join the Fight to Save Our Post Office).


  1. "If Senate Republicans gave a damn about the future of our democracy, they would demand that the Trump administration return to the negotiating table on a Covid-19 relief bill that protects our elections and funds the post office."
    —Sean Eldridge, Stand Up America

  2. "Donald Trump knows that if the people are heard in November, he and Republicans up and down the ballot will lose," Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tweeted Thursday. "This is what we're up against—and this is why we have to fight back with all we've got."

  3. Trump this morning why he won’t fund US Postal Service. “Now they need that money in order to make the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots ... But if they don’t get those two items that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting.”

  4. "Trump just comes out and says it: He is blocking money to keep the Postal Service afloat in an attempt to cast the election as fraudulent." —Jacob Bogage, Washington Post

  5. "This is crazy by any standard," tweeted Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists. "The president of the United States is actively trying to sabotage the election."