Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

U.S. Postal Service mail carrier Lizette Portugal finishes up loading her truck amid the coronavirus pandemic on April 30, 2020 in El Paso, Texas. (Photo: Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images)

House Democrats Unveil Bill to Restore Mail Service to 'Pre-DeJoy Levels' and Require USPS to Treat All Ballots as First Class

"Every single member of the House should vote in favor of our legislation," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney, chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee.

Jake Johnson

Following Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's vow to suspend changes to U.S. Postal Service operations until after the November election, House Democrats on Wednesday unveiled legislation that would go further by requiring the complete restoration of mail service to "pre-DeJoy levels" while also providing the agency with $25 billion in additional emergency funding.

The bill, an updated version of Rep. Carolyn Maloney's (D-N.Y.) Delivering for America Act, would also require that all ballots and other election-related mail be treated as first class to ensure timely delivery.

As Roll Call reported, "For a long time, postal workers have informally treated election mail as first class items and afforded them the speed their 20-cent bulk price point ordinarily would not allow. The Postal Service has warned some states that without the official first class markings, applications and ballots may not be expedited this year. The House Democrats' bill would codify this informal prioritization of election mail."

The Democratic legislation would restore USPS operations to levels that were in effect on January 1, 2020 and bar any service changes until either the end of the coronavirus pandemic or the end of 2021, whichever comes later.

A vote on the measure is set for Saturday, Democratic leaders said.

The bill was unveiled a day after DeJoy announced in the face of immense public backlash that he is "suspending" changes to USPS policies until after the presidential election to "avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail."

Union leaders, civil rights groups, and lawmakers immediately denounced DeJoy's walkback as inadequate, noting that he did not commit to completely undoing changes—such as the removal of mail sorting machines—that have contributed to major mail backlogs across the nation.

"It should not have taken the Postmaster General this long to recognize that his actions were causing major delays—in rural and urban communities, and among veterans, seniors, and families across the country," Maloney, chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee, said in a statement Tuesday. "His announcement... is certainly necessary, but it is inadequate to remedy the damage already done and ensure ballots will be delivered on time this November."

"Every single member of the House should vote in favor of our legislation this coming Saturday," said Maloney. "Our bill will do two things: it will restore previous delivery standards and operations throughout the coronavirus crisis, and it will give the Postal Service the funding it needs to ensure that mail, medicines, and mail-in ballots are delivered in a timely way."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Biden Drilling Report Blasted as 'Shocking Capitulation to the Needs of Corporate Polluters'

"Greenlighting more fossil fuel extraction, then pretending it's OK by nudging up royalty rates, is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic," said one campaigner.

Jessica Corbett ·


UNESCO Members Adopt First Global AI Ethics Agreement 'To Benefit Humanity'

"We're at a critical juncture in history," said Ethics in Tech founder Vahid Razavi. "We need as humans to come together and decide what is the best course of action to take with these technologies before they surpass us in their abilities."

Brett Wilkins ·


Progressive US Lawmakers Mark Black Friday With Calls to Pass the PRO Act

"The right to organize, fight for better working conditions, and fair pay must always be protected."

Jessica Corbett ·


'We Are Fighting Back': Global Black Friday Strikes and Protests Seek to #MakeAmazonPay

"We are workers and activists divided by geography and our role in the global economy but united in our commitment to Make Amazon Pay fair wages, its taxes, and for its impact on the planet."

Kenny Stancil ·


'It Was Entirely Avoidable': Rich Countries Blamed as New Covid Variant Sparks Global Alarm

"Allowing new variants to emerge and spread, 13 months into the vaccine era, is a policy choice by the rich world."

Jake Johnson ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo