Attorneys General sue USPS over budget plan

by mcardinal

Lauren Moye, FISM NEWS


Twenty attorneys general have filed a complaint in an attempt to review aspects of a 10-year plan to cut costs within the U.S. Postal Service. Fearing that the plan will ultimately harm US citizens, these attorneys general are requesting a full review.

Back in March, the USPS announced a plan to reduce expenses and provide financial stability over the next ten years. Parts of this plan will mean an increase in mailing costs, slower delivery times, and a decrease in available retail hours. These changes began on Oct. 1.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said, “This plan is being enacted without any meaningful oversight and review, and the Postal Regulatory Commission, states, experts, and the public deserve to have their voices heard.”

Shapiro submitted the complaint alongside Attorney General Letitia James (New York). An additional 17 states and the District of Columbia also signed. The complaint requests that the Postal Regulatory Commission fully review the U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s plan. The attorneys general want the commission to order the USPS first request an advisory opinion before implementing all elements of the plan.

The attorneys general collectively assert that the USPS did not fully present the 10-year plan for the PRC to review. This is a violation of federal law which requires the USPS to go before the PRC before making a change that will impact the entire country. The complaint states: “To date, the Postal Service has only submitted two requests for an advisory opinion to the Commission on important but narrow changes that represent only a small portion of the plan’s scope.”

Seeking to implement a plan without an advisory opinion could prove harmful for US residents, according to the attorneys general. On this aspect the complaint reads: “In addition, failing to seek the Commission’s expert review on such a transformational change … deprives the Postal Service of the Commission’s expert recommendations, risks significant errors in the Postal Service’s decision-making, and ultimately harms all who rely on the Postal Service for timely and efficient mail.”

California Attorney General Rob Bonta released his own public statement: “Americans from all across the spectrum rely on the U.S. Postal Service for their medication, paychecks, and election mail. If you’re going to make sweeping changes to national delivery standards, you have to do it right. This effort doesn’t make the cut.”

The complaint brought by the attorneys general seeks to allow the public to comment on the proposed service changes and give states a chance to be heard.