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Risk American families, workers cannot afford: Spanberger pushes USPS on mail delivery delays

Rebecca Barnabi
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U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger relaunched a USPS survey last month and received more than 1,300 responses from Virginians expressing concerns about mail delivery delays.

Ahead of the 2023 holiday season, Spanberger pressed the United States Postal Service yesterday to address the issues, as well as provide an explanation for its decision to reduce seasonal hiring.

In a letter sent to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, Spanberger outlined constituent reports of mail service issues, including delays, incorrect deliveries and missing mail. She requested an explanation of the USPS’s decision to reduce seasonal hiring for the 2023 holiday season for the second year in a row during the agency’s peak season. Given the number of Virginians experiencing issues with USPS, she also asked the agency to provide further information about USPS’s contingency plans, should any further issues arise.

“Virginians shared stories with me about delayed delivery of bills that caused them to owe late fees and penalties, mail delivered to the wrong address, and missing mail that was never delivered – including checks and gifts,” Spanberger wrote. “As we approach the busy holiday season, I am concerned about how an already stressed USPS is going to remedy these ongoing challenges, let alone keep up with increased volume – especially as your agency has drastically reduced seasonal hiring for the second year in a row, this year by two-thirds. As you know, efficient and reliable postal services are crucial, especially when USPS is experiencing a significant surge in packages and mail during the holidays. Virginians rely on a strong USPS to deliver not just seasonal cards and gifts, but also lifesaving medications, bills, customer orders, and much more.”

Spanberger said she is proud to represent thousands of hardworking USPS employees “who endure long hours and difficult conditions to provide this public service — and they should not pay the price for irresponsible changes to agency-wide policies and operations. I worry about the impact understaffing will have on their work hours, safety, and ability to meet expectations. The USPS Office of Inspector General acknowledged that ‘changes to processing put the Postal Service at risk for parcel delays.’ This risk is not one which American families and workers can afford.”

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.