(CNN)As Postmaster General Louis DeJoy prepares to face on Monday his second congressional hearing in just a few days, the US Postal Service warned that some of the measures in the House postal bill passed Saturday “while well meaning, will constrain the ability of the Postal Service to make operational changes that will improve efficiency, reduce costs, and ultimately improve service to the American people.”
USPS warns House bill will ‘constrain the ability’ of it to make operational changes
The bill would forbid the USPS from making changes to its operations — such as dismantling sorting machines or removing collection boxes — until the coronavrius pandemic has ended. USPS has said such measures would help it deal with major losses.
The bill, which passed in a mostly party line vote with 26 Republicans supporting it, is not expected to be taken up in the Senate.
In a Sunday evening statement, the USPS said it “greatly appreciates the efforts of the House of Representatives to assist us” but added it was “concerned” about the impact of the some of the bill’s requirements.
“We look forward to continuing to work with Congress on more meaningful reform that will ensure our long-term health, and we remain a vital part of our nation’s critical infrastructure,” the statement read.
The Delivering for America Act, introduced by House Oversight and Reform chairwoman Carolyn Maloney of New York, is the latest action over the agency’s cutbacks and slow mail service ahead of the 2020 election in November that is already upended by the pandemic.
In a statement Sunday evening, Maloney, a Democrat, said that the USPS statement regarding her bill was a “misreading of H.R. 8015.”
“Unfortunately, the unattributed statement from the Postal Service is a fundamental misreading of H.R. 8015, which states clearly in Section 2(a) that the Postal Service may not implement any change that ‘would reduce service performance or impede prompt, reliable, and efficient services,'” Maloney said in a statement shared on Twitter by the Oversight Committee.
Maloney went on to say that the USPS statement “fails to note the significant bipartisan support of dozens of Republicans who bucked their leadership and voted to put a stop to the Postmaster General’s sweeping and dangerous changes that are delaying the mail for all Americans.”
As DeJoy told a Senate panel Friday, the USPS is reassuring the public about its ability to handle an expected major increase in the volume of vote by mail during this year’s election.
“We reiterate that the Postal Service is fully capable and committed to delivering the nation’s election mail securely and on time, and will do everything necessary to meet this sacred duty,” it said in a statement.
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