Saturday, August 22, 2020

Huffman Votes for Postal Service Act as Dozens Rally in Eureka

Posted By on Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 6:10 PM

click to enlarge Demonstrators in Eureka display signs at a "Save the Post Office Saturday" rally. - ZACH LATHOURIS
  • Zach Lathouris
  • Demonstrators in Eureka display signs at a "Save the Post Office Saturday" rally.
North Coast Congressmember Jared Huffman joined fellow House members in passing the Delivering for America Act, which includes $25 billion in funding for the U.S. Postal Service and prohibits any changes to “operations or level of service” in place on Jan. 1 of this year.

Today’s vote came as “Save the Post Office Saturday” rallies took place across the nation and in Eureka — where a group of about 35 held signs on the corner of Fifth and H streets and speakers noted the importance of mail service, especially in rural areas — in response to recent changes, including the removal of sorting machines and drop-off mailboxes in some areas of the country.

Amid an outcry over resulting delays and concerns about impacts on the November election, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced Aug. 18 that he would stop the changes for now as more than 20 states prepared to sue the mail service.

A few days later, he appeared at a Senate hearing on the matter.

Huffman’s release noted that DeJoy “admitted that he has no intention of replacing the sorting machines, blue mailboxes, and other key mail infrastructure that have been removed and that plans for overtime which are critical for the timely delivery of mail are not in the works.”

“Postmaster General (Louis) DeJoy’s insufficient and temporary pause in his attacks on the Postal Service doesn’t undo the damage he has already done. Americans rely on the mail for critical services like medication delivery, paychecks, and participation in the democratic process – especially during a deadly pandemic,” Huffman said.

DeJoy and USPS Board of Governors Chair Robert Duncan are scheduled to testify Aug. 24 at a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing.

Read the full release from Huffman’s office below:


San Rafael, CA – Today, Representative Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) voted to pass the Delivering for America Act. The legislation prohibits the Postal Service from implementing any changes to operations or level of service it had in place on January 1, 2020, and provides $25 billion in critical funding to support the Postal Service: the same level of funding recommended by the USPS Board of Governors, which is composed of 100 percent Trump appointees.

Earlier this week, Rep. Huffman visited the Eureka, California Post Office to meet with postal workers and investigate impacts of recent operational changes by the Trump administration and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

This week, thanks to public outcry and Congressional pressure, Postmaster General DeJoy announced an alleged pause in operational changes delaying the mail. However, he admitted that he has no intention of replacing the sorting machines, blue mailboxes, and other key mail infrastructure that have been removed and that plans for overtime which are critical for the timely delivery of mail are not in the works.

“Postmaster General DeJoy’s insufficient and temporary pause in his attacks on the Postal Service doesn’t undo the damage he has already done. Americans rely on the mail for critical services like medication delivery, paychecks, and participation in the democratic process – especially during a deadly pandemic,” said Rep. Huffman. “With COVID numbers still not where they should be, and firestorms in my district worsening this public health emergency, we need to do everything possible to protect the USPS and restore the services slashed by the Trump administration.”

In addition to today’s vote, Rep. Huffman and Congressional Democrats are taking swift action to address the sabotage of the Postal Service, which threatens lives, livelihoods, and the health of our democracy: Next week, the Committee on Oversight and Reform will hear testimony from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and Chairman of the USPS Board of Governors Robert Duncan at an urgent hearing before the Committee on August 24.

The Postmaster General must answer to the Congress and the American people as to why the Trump administration is pushing dangerous policies that threaten to silence the voices of millions, just months before the election. Rep. Huffman has joined Democrats in writing to the Postmaster General to demand answers: including in a letter signed by over 190 House Democrats calling for a reversal of policies that have worsened the crisis facing the Postal Service and exacerbated a dramatic increase in delayed and undelivered mail.

He also joined in sending a congressional letter calling for more information about the Postal Service’s plan to ensure the proper delivery of ballots.

Throughout Representative Huffman’s time in Congress, he has fought to uphold the integrity of the postal service and ensure that the agency can continue to provide regular deliveries at high standards to rural areas. In 2016 and 2018, he introduced the Stop Postal Closures Act, bipartisan legislation to end the misguided closure and consolidations of mail processing facilities across the country.

Rep. Huffman led the charge against proposed closures of the North Bay Processing and Distribution Center in Petaluma and the Eureka Customer Service Mail Processing Center, warning of a disruption of mail delivery, job loss, and damage to local economies.

Rep. Huffman also helped lead the recent effort in the House to modernize postal infrastructure, including $6 billion specifically for the purchase of next generation USPS delivery vehicles.

Text of H.R. 8015, the Delivering for America Act can be found here. Due to the ongoing public health emergency, worsened by the ongoing wildfires in Northern California, Rep. Huffman cast his vote by proxy.
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Kimberly Wear

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Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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