The Post asked 30 lawmakers from the most affected areas what the service slowdowns would mean for their constituents; 20 either responded with emailed statements or spoke in interviews. They include the entire congressional delegations of Nevada, Oregon and Montana, as well as senators and certain House members from Texas and Florida.
Here are their responses to The Post’s analysis. Answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.
Mail will need nearly another day, or 93 percent of one, for delivery in Nevada, The Post found, with as much as 70 percent of it poised for service downgrades.
Seven percent of mail under the new plan will be delivered in two days, compared with 15 percent under current standards. Currently, 85 percent of the state’s mail arrives within three days, but that will drop to 30 percent. Meanwhile, 40 percent will need four days and 22 percent will need five days.
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) in a statement: “It’s outrageous that thousands of Nevadans, including our seniors, continue to see delays in the delivery of their mail and prescriptions, and it will only get worse under the misguided proposals of the USPS. We need a USPS board that will be responsive to the needs of Nevadans.”
Rep. Mark Amodei (R) in an interview: “There’s variables in any form of transportation. But I can tell you that the road between Reno and San Francisco goes over this little thing called Donner Pass. And guess what? It closes in the winter when the Sierras get hit with a good storm. … When a truck jackknifes on that one way or the other, they close the road. ‘Oh, well, sorry, it’s going to take five days to get your mail this time.’ I just look at all that with much less certainty, maybe some cost savings.”
Rep. Susie Lee (D) in a statement: “Our veterans, seniors and our rural communities rely on the Postal Service every single day. Further delays can mean that a veteran doesn’t get their lifesaving prescription on time or a working mother is late paying her electric bill. We can’t afford to cut USPS service, and this new analysis showing that Nevada would be the hardest hit state is deeply troubling. We should be working to make the USPS more efficient — not less. We need to ensure the USPS has the resources it needs by passing the bipartisan, bicameral Postal Service Reform Act.”
Rep. Dina Titus (D) in an interview: “I think the Postal Service’s service obligation comes first. That’s why it was put in the Constitution. It’s there to serve the people with something they can’t get elsewhere. Now as people are starting to do more online shopping and less shopping through the mail, or there’s less use of mail, we just got to be creative about how we find ways to balance cost, but without cutting that basic service.”
Sen. Jacky Rosen (D) and Rep. Steven Horsford (D) did not respond to requests for comment.
Oregon’s mail will slow by nearly a day, or 89 percent of one, on average, The Post found, with as much as 55 percent of its mail facing service downgrades.
Six in 10 pieces of mail are delivered in three days under current standards; the rest fall under the two-day umbrella. With the new timelines, half of the state’s mail will be delivered in four or five days.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D) in an interview: “It’s not that long ago that people basically were so impressed with the efficiency of our post office and often would have next-day delivery. And now we’re talking three-and-a-half days is the standard for first-class mail. Think how slow everything else is if it takes three-and-a-half days for first class. So when our first class has become third class, our third class has become who knows what — the bottom of the barrel — you’ve destroyed one of the most popular, most efficient institutions in the world.”
Sen. Ron Wyden (D) in a statement: “Slowing service isn’t an option for Oregonians, especially in rural communities that rely on the Postal Service to deliver medical supplies, prescriptions, food and other essentials to their doors. In addition, in Oregon, a vote-by-mail state, a move like [Postmaster General Louis] DeJoy’s is actually voter suppression. Like other unqualified Trump appointees, Louis DeJoy is harming the agency he is responsible for protecting. To get the Postal Service back on track, the Board of Governors can, and should, remove DeJoy immediately.”
Rep. Kurt Schrader (D) in an interview: “I’m a businessperson, too — over 30-plus of veterinary medicine and running a farm — and I understand efficiency and logistics. But one thing I do know is you don’t reduce the service level and get better consumer appreciation. I’m very concerned that the western part of our country, and in particular my home state of Oregon, is going to be on the bad side of the average. I don’t think DeJoy is trying to single out the West. But, if you’re north of California and west of the mountains, my postal carriers feel like they’re under siege.”
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D) in an interview: “Nobody has shown me evidence that the American public wouldn’t pay another nickel or dime to be able to protect the most popular government service in America. This is a real testimony to who we are that we have the universal service and it’s been available, and the fact that the service standards have been eroded and threatened is a real testimony about how things have deteriorated.”
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D) in an interview: “I don’t think the new service standards are necessary. They don’t need to slow down. They could make the positive reforms without the delivery delays. And it would be serious, for example, if someone’s waiting for medication, and they missed a day or two of medication, if someone has important information they need to make a business decision. Or, critically, if somebody’s ballot doesn’t arrive or they’re sending in their ballot to vote by mail, their voice won’t count. That’s unacceptable. So, yes, it does matter. A day or two does matter.”
Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D) in a statement: “USPS is a critical lifeline for Oregon’s rural communities. To implement this plan knowing the impact it will have on millions of rural Americans is unconscionable. DeJoy is a Trump crony and a holdover from a corrupt administration. He’s proven time and time again he doesn’t care about this essential service America’s veterans, seniors, and more rely on. DeJoy must be removed from office immediately.”
Rep. Cliff Bentz (R) did not respond to a request for comment.
Montana’s mail will slow by more than two-thirds (69 percent) of a day, on average, The Post found, with up to 57 percent facing service downgrades. Forty-eight percent of the state’s mail will be delivered in four or five days under the new standards, where 61 percent see three-day delivery in the current system.
Sen. Jon Tester (D) in an interview: “All it takes in this business is, if you’re expecting some high blood pressure medicine in the mail and it doesn’t show up, that’s the last time you used the mail. You’re using something else now. They’ve got to get their delivery back to where it used to be. The Postal Service is just critical for businesses in Montana. I mean, we can talk about families, we can talk about jobs. But from a business standpoint, it’s more than a service. Let’s just put it that way.”
Rep. Matthew M. Rosendale (R) in a statement: “While reforms to reduce costs are welcome, it’s absolutely imperative that we protect rural delivery areas, access, and timing in our state.”
Sen. Steve Daines (R) did not respond to a request for comment.
Mail delivered in Texas will slow by roughly half (54 percent) a day, The Post found, and 52 percent of the state’s mail volume will experience service downgrades. Most of those delays will result from mail moving from three-day to four-day delivery. More than 6 in 10 pieces of Texas mail are delivered in three days under the Postal Service’s current standards. Under the new ones, 32 percent will be delivered in three days, and 39 percent in four days.
Sens. John Cornyn (R) and Ted Cruz (R), and Reps. Filemon Vela (D), August Pfluger (R), Roger Williams (R) and Michael Cloud (R) did not respond to requests for comment.
Florida’s mail will slow by nearly three-fourths (70 percent) of a day, on average, The Post found, with as much as 60 percent projected for service downgrades. Like other states, mail moving from a three-day standard to four days accounts for most of those slowdowns. Nearly 70 percent of Florida’s mail is now designated for delivery in three days, but that figure is projected to drop to 25 percent, while 42 percent is expected to be delivered in four days, and 10 percent in five days.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R) in a statement: “Millions of Floridians rely on USPS for everything from receiving passports to getting lifesaving medicines. I have heard from many Floridians who have a story about a missing passport, delayed medicines, or lost packages. I am hopeful the reforms making their way through Congress will address the postal system’s long-standing structural flaws and restore timely delivery that was once the hallmark of USPS.”
Sen. Rick Scott (R) in a statement: “Sen. Rick Scott’s top priority is to make sure our government works efficiently for families, and that taxpayers get a good return on their investment. He will review any proposed changes to make the USPS more effective and ensure it has the resources it needs to serve Americans efficiently.”
Rep. Darren Soto (D) in an interview: “We have to engage on postal reform by appealing to at least incremental improvements to this delivery average and talk about the farmers and farmers markets and small businesses in rural areas that could be less competitive. This is about making sure rural America has the same economic opportunities and same, frankly, health-care access and access to goods and other areas have. When we got hit by Hurricane Irma in 2017 and I was down in Frostproof, one of the southernmost points of our district, a very rural area, it was within a day that I saw rural letter carriers in jeeps going over trees to deliver the mail with downed power lines still around. It gives you an idea of what a lifeline of this is.”
Rep. Val Demings (D) in a statement: “Postal workers serve our communities tirelessly to deliver prescription medications, letters and packages, and the covid-19 stimulus checks we passed during the pandemic. In many cases, the timeliness of those deliveries can be crucial to our families’ and businesses’ well-being, especially our vulnerable seniors, and I am extremely concerned that the potential delays created by this plan will harm Floridians who rely on our Postal Service. I have strongly supported legislation to reduce delivery times and protect the service standards of the USPS, and I strongly believe that the service’s current leadership needs to work more closely with Congress to protect this essential American institution. The Postal Service is a service, not a business, necessary to tie our communities together, unite families and friends, and protect the functioning of our democracy.”
Rep. Michael Waltz (R) in a statement: “The Postal Service needs its financial house in order to maintain service standards for Americans, especially rural constituents and seniors. The USPS Fairness Act provides solvency to the Postal Service without spending any additional taxpayer dollars. The Postal Service shouldn’t be prepaying future retirement benefits for hypothetical employees. Doing so only jeopardizes Americans’ constitutional right to a functional mail service.”
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R) in a statement: “While I support efforts to maximize efficiency and help save money at the Postal Service, I’m concerned about the impact of this proposal on my constituents. I represent one of the oldest congressional districts in the country and my constituents depend upon timely, reliable mail service for their prescriptions and other daily necessities. A reduction in service could risk their health and isolate them.”
Rep. C. Scott Franklin (R) in a statement: “Rep. Franklin is actively monitoring the progress of Postmaster General DeJoy’s 10-year plan. He looks forward to working with USPS as a member of the Committee on Oversight and Reform to ensure that Floridians receive reliable, timely mail service.”
Rep. Lois Frankel (D) in a statement: “Slowing postal service in Florida will have a disproportionate negative impact on our significant senior population, many who rely on medicine and Social Security checks to arrive by mail.”
Rep. Brian Mast (R) did not respond to a request for comment.