But is the damage already done?
Courtesy of WaPo:
The U.S. Postal Service said it will shelve its controversial cost-cutting initiatives until after the November election, canceling service reductions, reauthorizing overtime and suspending the removal of mail-sorting machines and public collection boxes.
Tuesday’s reversal comes hours after at least 21 states announced plans to sue the mail service and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, arguing that policy changes widely blamed for mail slowdowns will interfere with their abilities to conduct elections.
DeJoy is poised to address those issues at a Senate hearing Friday, then go before a House panel on Monday with Robert M. Duncan, chairman of the USPS Board of Governors.
Tensions reached a peak Thursday when President Trump said he would block funding for the Postal Service in an attempt to hobble its ability to process mailed ballots. Last month, the USPS notified 46 states and D.C. that their deadline requirements for voters to request and cast ballots were “incongruous” with its service standards, and it encouraged local election officials to use first-class postage, which costs 55 cents per item and arrives in two to five days, on election mail rather than third-class postage, which costs 20 cents and takes three to 10 days, as had been the practice for years.
DeJoy’s announcement Tuesday did little to quiet concerns or address questions about reported backlogs at processing plants or delays in home delivery. Democratic lawmakers continued to press postal officials for answers about the policies and elaboration on the agency’s preparedness to collect election mail.
“Postmaster General DeJoy cannot put the genie back in the bottle,” Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), who chairs the House subcommittee responsible for postal oversight, said in a statement. “Sunshine in the form of public pressure has forced Mr. DeJoy to completely reverse himself. While this is a victory for all voters and every American that relies on the USPS, congressional oversight cannot be interrupted. If Mr. DeJoy has nothing to hide, he will come to Congress with answers to our questions about the service disruptions that have defined his tenure as Postmaster General.”
“Our fight against them is working,” Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) said during an online panel Tuesday, referring to DeJoy and the USPS. “It shows that the public pressure we are putting on them is working.”
There is no word if there are plans to return the mailboxes or sorting machines that were removed already.
There are also questions about getting overtime approved to deal with the piles of mail created by the interference in the first place.
A couple of things to clear up.
First, the Postal Service is NOT a business, it is a service.
Second, it was self-sustaining for many decades until the Republicans created the Postal Accountability Enhancement Act (PAEA) in 2006.
This guideline forced the Post Office to set money aside to fully fund retirement benefits for the next 75 years.
This has resulted in the USPS slowly sliding into debt, which of course was what the Republicans wanted to demonstrate in order to support their calls for the service to be privatized, despite studies showing that privatizing the mail, actually turning it into a business, would dramatically raise postal rates and leave much of the country unserved.
What Trump’s flunky has done is to rapidly speed up a process that the Republicans have been working on for several decades now.