The plan he intends to implement, sources tell the Post, would end one- and two-day for first class mail like bills and payments and letters, and lump it in with the rest of first-class mail in a three-to five-day delivery window. The USPS hasn’t released its performance for the first part of 2021 yet, but only 38% of that class of mail—the 3- to 5-day first class—made it to its destinations on time. The plan is to abandon sending mail by air, instead loading it all on trucks in the name of cost savings. In 2020, the agency spent more than $457 million on air transport for first-class mail, and $314 million on truck transport. What’s not clear is how much more would have to be spent on ground transport if the whole volume of air mail is diverted to it. Plenty of individuals and businesses are going to decide that getting their stuff to customers in a day’s time is too important, and they’ll take their business elsewhere, to another carrier that will overnight it.
That ground transport, by the way, isn’t going to all be on Postal Service trucks. It includes contractors like XPOLogistics, “one of the largest transportation and logistics companies in the world,” which DeJoy just happens to have a financial stake, to the tune of something like $30 million. DeJoy personally has been profiting off of USPS contracts for years, from his ownership of New Breed Logistics, which was bought out by XPO Logistics in 2015. As early as 1992, New Breed had secured non-competitive contracts with the Postal Service, costing the USPS as much as $53 million over what they would have paid were the contracts competitive.
Despite the discovery of all this information about DeJoy and how he’s still profiting through his stake in XPOLogisitics—which even now has transportation contracts with the agency—he’s been given carte blanche by the board of governors to do whatever he wants with the agency. Which is apparently to destroy it—but that’s not surprising, it’s Republican. They’ve been almost as intent on undermining the Postal Service as they have Social Security—anything that could be privatized and monetized so they and their friends can profit. That and their allergy to any part of government that works efficiently and is popular.
DeJoy and Ron Bloom, the chairman of the Postal Service Board of Governors, are scheduled to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on February 24. The hearing “will examine legislative proposals to place the Postal Service on a more
sustainable financial footing going forward while preserving the delivery performance standards on which the American people rely,” committee chair Carolyn Maloney announced. That’s to advance legislation that will lift an onerous financial burden from the agency—the burden that has created the debt DeJoy and the board have used to justify the “money-saving” service changes. The Postal Service is the only agency required to prepay 75 years worth of health benefits for future retirees, a crippling obligation enacted by Congress in 2006, which Congress seems now poised to repeal.
Even before that, though, President Joe Biden can do what activists—and lawmakers like Sen. Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat—have been calling for: canning the entire board of governors for “the recent and abject failure of leadership at the top of the USPS.” Only the board of governors has the power to oust DeJoy, and the only way that will happen is with an accountable board. And that’s the only way the Postal Service will be restored, especially for the people who depend on it. “Such bottlenecks put individuals like Veterans and older adults at risk of not receiving their lifesaving prescriptions on time; families at risk of missing their paychecks, utility bills, credit-card payments and court notices and hard-hit small businesses at risk of not receiving critical supplies for their customers on-time,” Duckworth wrote.
“These failures are inexcusable in any moment, but especially so in the midst of a pandemic and presidential election year where Americans increasingly needed to utilize mail-in ballots,” Duckworth continued. “It will take significant work to rebuild trust for this vital institution, and while Americans still celebrate their local letter carrier, they continue to have concerns about the individuals leading this agency.”