On the same day the Vermont delegation to Congress panned the U.S. Postal Service for its failures in Vermont, the state’s longtime independent stalwart Sen. Bernie Sanders further called for the immediate resignation of the postmaster general.
“Given the serious crisis and total failure of leadership at the United States Postal Service, I am urging President Biden to demand the immediate resignation of Louis DeJoy as postmaster general,” Sanders said in a sternly written statement, issued Friday. “By any objective measure, Louis DeJoy, a top campaign contributor of Donald Trump, has been, by far and away, the worst postmaster general in the modern history of America.”
Sanders flogged DeJoy for the failures since taking the reins at the USPS in May 2020, after which “the quality of the Postal Service has been severely undermined.”
“Tragically, the situation has only gotten worse since Mr. DeJoy began implementing his disastrous 10-year plan to substantially slow down mail delivery, cut back on post office hours, shut down mail processing plants and dismantle mail sorting machines,” Sanders wrote. “During the busy holiday season, this could not come at a worse time.”
Sanders cited massive delays in medication delivery, late fees on overdue bills and concerns that 500 million at-home COVID tests ordered by the Biden administration would go undelivered or too late to prevent illnesses.
He blasted a $120 million USPS contract with XPO Logistics in April, saying that DeJoy, the former CEO of XPO’s supply chain business, still holds an investment of at least $30 million in the business.
“It is long past time for Mr. DeJoy to go,” Sanders wrote.
In November, President Joe Biden nominated two new members to the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors, a potential first step in removing DeJoy. Nominee Daniel M. Tangherlini is a former administrator of the General Services Administration during the Obama administration, and nominee Derek Kan is a Republican business executive and former deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget during the Trump administration.
DeJoy drew national scrutiny last year when he put in place a series of operational changes that he said were intended to improve efficiency yet caused widespread delivery delays before the 2020 election as millions of people prepared to vote by mail. He was also blamed for a steep decline in on-time deliveries around the holiday season last year.
DeJoy presented the 10-year plan for the Postal Service in March, arguing that significant changes would be necessary to stem a projected $160 billion loss over the next decade. The plan is a damaging blow to mail delivery and to periodicals and newspapers, which now pay an 8 percent increase on delivery rates, as of Aug. 29.
The impact of the periodical rate increase is being felt most by small daily and weekly newspapers, as well as rural newspapers, which depend on the Postal Service since they have shifted from using independent contractors for deliveries.
Spokespeople for DeJoy and for USPS sorting operations could not be reached by press time.