By Zach Armstrong
PETERSBURG, Va -- U.S. Rep. Donald McEachin (D-4th district) is urging the Postal Service Board of Governors to replace U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy - who was appointed by then-President Donald Trump - after receiving thousands of complaints from constituents over delays in mail delivery.
“I have heard from my constituents about declining mail delivery service, including instances of priority mail, such as bills and prescription medications, being delivered weeks late, a serious issue which can have significant and potentially life-altering consequences,” said McEachin letters to President Joe Biden and the Postal Service governing board.
According to McEachin, his office had received approximately 8,000 complaints from 4th district constituencies in the course of 48 hours over delays in mail. The congressman cited operational cutbacks by Dejoy that McEachin blamed for why only 64% of first-class mail was delivered on time in late December and just 55.1% in the Richmond Postal District, compared with 90% last spring.
Priority mail such as prescription medications and bills were also delayed for many in the commonwealth’s 4th district.
McEachin also wrote to President Joe Biden urging him to fill three Democratic seats on the Postal Service governing board. He also asked that if the board fails to replace DeJoy, all of the board’s existing members should be replaced.
“Due to ongoing mismanagement, this American institution has been stretched to its limits, leading to transportation challenges, staff shortages and unacceptable delivery times across the country,” McEachin said in a news briefing.
U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) agreed with McEachin’s call to remove Dejoy saying in a different news briefing that President Biden should fire the whole Governing board if it fails to appoint a new postmaster general. Warner also called DeJoy “a completely incompetent postmaster general” and “a political hack”.
DeJoy was appointed in May by then-President Donald Trump before a presidential election which, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, depended on a record delivery of mail-in absentee ballots which the former president cited for his defeat in November’s election. The holiday season also intensified a demand for the mailing of packages across the nation.
“I do believe that this was born out of the Trump administration’s desire to weaken people’s confidence in the Postal Service so they wouldn’t vote by mail,” McEachin said.