Washington, DC––Today, Representative John Curtis (R-UT) clarified the state of the United States Postal Service and strongly criticized H.R. 8015 in a speech on the House floor. The Congressman argues that the Postal Service has the capacity to handle a mail-in election in November but there are long-term sustainability issues without serious reforms to reflect modern shipping trends. Rep. Curtis will vote “no” on H.R. 8015 because the bill blocks operational reforms at the USPS, even though they have already been suspended until after the 2020 election, and instead throws money at a problem that will not fix itself.
“Not sure who to believe? Ask your mail carrier. Ask them if there’s anything less than a 100% effort to deliver mail-in ballots and all mail—and then make sure to thank them. I am grateful for the many men and women that work so hard to get our mail delivered to us in a remarkably reliable way. We need a strong and vibrant postal service but this bill, thrown together in the middle of the night, does not deliver.“
The full speech, as prepared for delivery, is below:
“Madam Chair, like many of my constituents I have followed the allegations circulating around the United States Postal Service. These are serious allegations. To get to the heart of the problem, I spoke directly to Utah’s Postal Leadership. I asked questions and waded through the rumors, I learned four important facts.
First, it is clear that the Unites States Postal Service needs additional funding. How much and under what conditions is a worthy debate. But let me be clear—the funding situation has no bearing on their ability to handle the upcoming mail in ballots. The USPS has enough cash on hand to operate well into 2021.
Second, the increased demand of mail-in ballots does not stretch their capacity. Mail-in ballots will increase the demand on the system by a little over 1.5%. In the words of Utah’s District Director, “not even a bump in volume.” The day I spoke with him, Utah’s mail delivery system was 500,000 letters under capacity.
Third, the accusation that they’re removing boxes and cutting overtime to thwart mail-in ballots is just plain not true. Boxes have always been moved to adjust to volume. To calm fears, the Postal Service has put a 90-day moratorium on moving boxes. Likewise, rumors that overtime is being cut so mail in ballots will be delayed is also false. I confirmed this with Utah’s District Director. In his words, “Never in my career have we left mail undelivered because of overtime.”
Forth, the concerns with mail-in balloting have everything to do with the state’s preparedness – not the postal service. States who have allowed ballots to be requested just four days before election day are irresponsible and should be accountable for mail-in ballot problems—not the United States Postal Service. Further, mail-in ballots take longer to count and delays can be expected, but not because of the Postal Service.
Not sure who to believe? Ask your mail carrier. Ask them if there’s anything less than a 100% effort to deliver mail-in ballots and all mail—and then make sure to thank them. I am grateful for the many men and women that work so hard to get our mail delivered to us in a remarkably reliable way.
We need a strong and vibrant postal service but this bill, thrown together in the middle of the night, does not deliver.
I yield back.”