Daines urges Postmaster General to rescind delayed mail directive; medications vital

Sen. Steve Daines this week urged the nation’s postmaster general to reverse a decision to hold mail for a full day if distribution is running behind.

The U.S. Postal Service is facing a projected $13 billion revenue deficit and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has made a number of moves to shore up funding, including the elimination of overtime pay for postal workers.

DeJoy, a former Republican Party fundraiser, also issued a directive to hold mail for delivery until the next day for any pieces if postal distribution centers are running behind.

Daines said the decision could hurt rural portions of the county, including Montana, and seniors who depend on prescription drugs. Veterans also receive medications through the mail from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“The USPS is critical to Montanans, especially our seniors, veterans, and rural communities across the Treasure State,” Daines said. “Ensuring that the USPS is on a sustainable fiscal path while maintaining high quality of service to Montana and all Americans is critically important.”

Daines has asked DeJoy to rescind his decision directing the delay of mail. He’s among a number of senators working to extend a $25 billion emergency investment to the Postal Service.

The funding would keep operations going during the Covid-19 pandemic and provide postal carriers personal protective equipment.

“Last year alone, the Postal Service delivered 1.9 billion prescriptions to American’s mailboxes, and nearly 100 percent of all Veterans Affairs prescriptions,” Daines wrote. “I am concerned about the impact of the July 10 delayed mail directive and request you rescind that element of the policy.”

On Thursday, Sen. Jon Tester also expressed concern about DeJoy’s directive on delayed mail and for many of the same reasons.

Tester also has encouraged Senate leadership to include the emergency funding in its pending Coronavirus relief package, especially since so many will be depending on mail-in ballots during the November election.