Durbin And Davis Call For Immediate Funding For The U.S. Postal Service

CHICAGO – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL-7) today held a news conference calling for the immediate funding of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), whose services are essential in ensuring Americans receive medications, paychecks, and packages, as well as allowing Americans to safely exercise their right to vote through mail-in voting.

“In the months since the pandemic swept the country the post office has seen a dramatic increase in parcel volume, between 20 percent and 80 percent above last year’s volume. In Illinois, we are receiving thousands of reports of mail delay across the state, from Chicago to Cairo,” said Durbin. “As the COVID-19 pandemic has upended daily life across the country, millions of Americans now depend on USPS to deliver medications, home health equipment, groceries, and other vital mail. These delays can have life-threatening implications.”

“It is very clear that the Postal Service needs money assistance and leadership to keep the mail moving.  The Postal Services should not be used to try and impede or muck up the vote by mail,” said Davis.

Since Postmaster General Louis DeJoy assumed office in June, he has announced several new changes to longstanding USPS policies. These include eliminating overtime, which is when nearly 20 percent of postal work is done, reducing sorting and processing hours, and changes to how mail rounds are conducted. These decisions have led to significant delays in mail delivery in Illinois and across the country. Neighborhoods in Chicago have reported going without mail for up to two weeks.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Heroes Act more than two months ago, which includes $25 billion in emergency funding to cover USPS revenue losses over the next two years.

Yesterday, Durbin led a letter with Democratic members of the Illinois Congressional delegation to Postmaster General DeJoy demanding his office address the mail delays his operational changes have caused.