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Robert Reich on the Post Office crisis to come

Congress must step in to protect the Postal Service and the integrity of mail-in voting before it's too late



Robert Reich
August 28, 2020 10:50AM (UTC)

This originally appeared on Robert Reich's blog.

It's no secret Donald Trump will do anything to hold on to power. His latest strategy is to sabotage the United States Postal Service, courtesy of his handpicked Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. 

A Republican mega donor with no postal experience, DeJoy instituted sweeping measures that have caused massive mail delays across the country. As national outrage reached a fever pitch, DeJoy announced he would delay policy changes that slow down mail delivery, until after the election. 

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But the USPS is still very much under attack.

DeJoy's statement is nothing more than empty rhetoric. He didn't even list which policies he would postpone. One of the few policies he did mention was overtime pay, which he said would be paid "as needed," but guess who decides what's needed? He does.

DeJoy also needs to repair the damage he's already done. He told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi he has "no intention" of replacing removed mailboxes and sorting machines, and instructed USPS employees to not reconnect or reinstall the sorting machines.

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And nothing is forcing DeJoy to follow through even on his weak promises. If the past three and a half years have shown us anything, it's that we can never count on Trump officials to follow through on their promises.

Trump openly admitted he was sabotaging the post office to stop people from voting. Now his political stooge postmaster general is basically saying "trust me."

Sorry, Mr. DeJoy, we don't trust you.

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Congress must step in and do four things to protect the Postal Service and the integrity of mail-in voting before it's too late:

1. Provide needed funding for the Postal Service in the next COVID-19 relief bill.

2. Force DeJoy to repair all the damage he's already caused, returning the USPS back to full capacity.

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3. Fully investigate DeJoy's conflicts of interest. DeJoy still has at least a $30 million stake in his former company XPO Logistics, which directly competes with the Postal Service — putting him in a position to profit directly from any loss of Postal Service customers.

4. Pass legislation specifically blocking the Postal Service from instituting any changes that would slow mail delivery in the lead-up to November. 

Trump and DeJoy will stop at nothing to sabotage the USPS and steal the election — and there's no telling the damage Trump will wreak if he's able to swindle a second term. 

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Call your members of Congress at (202) 224-3121 and demand your representatives take these urgent steps to save the USPS and protect the election. The stakes couldn't be higher.


Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written 15 books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and"Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "The Common Good." He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, "Inequality For All." He's also co-creator of the Netflix original documentary "Saving Capitalism."

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Louis Dejoy Robertreich.org United States Postal Service Usps

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