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America's Troubled Postal Service: Two Perspectives On How To Fix It

Trump Postmaster General
Tom Williams/AP
Pool CQ Roll Call
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifying on August 24, 2020, during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on the US Postal Service. The Trump-appointed official recently unveiled a 10-year plan to overhaul the USPS, a plan critics say will further slow US mail deliveries. (File: Tom Williams/Pool via AP)

Almost everybody these days has a horror story about the US Postal Service. The medication that was late arriving, or which never arrived at all. The New Yorker magazines that arrive three at a time, months after their publication dates. The Christmas card, the Mother’s Day card, the birthday card that arrives weeks or months after being dropped in the mail.

Once the most popular institution in American society, the postal service is no longer that reliable bastion of American dependability. The mythical motto of the USPS is: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” But for most of us, the rounds of the post office are left incomplete with maddening regularity.

Mfume for Congress
Rep. Kweisi Mfume represents MD's 7th District and sits on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

Congress has taken note, ever since former President Donald Trump appointed a mega-donor and ally to the position of Postmaster General. Louis DeJoy has been a controversial figure for more than a year.

In the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, there were howls of protest when DeJoy ordered the selective removal of high-speed mail-sorting equipment and mail drop boxes from communities across the country. Many Democrats feared those actions were part of a Trump strategy to impede mail-in voting.

Mr. DeJoy countered that they were efforts to reduce Postal Service costs and improve efficiency. He has had to defend his actions repeatedly at Congressional hearings. His 10-year reform plan for the Service has met with stiff opposition. Last Friday, the full slate of governors on the Postal Board met for the first time in a decade, a meeting that included for the first time three recent appointees to the board by President Biden.

Eric Katz covers the USPS as senior correspondent for the online news journal, Government Executive

To help us understand what's ailing the USPS and what's being done to fix it, we're joined today by Congressman Kweisi Mfume, who represents Maryland’s 7th District. Rep. Mfume sits on the US House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which has held numerous hearings on the Postal Service. Congressman Mfume joins us on Zoom…

Then, we talk with journalist Eric Katz, who has been covering the problems at the Postal Service extensively for years as senior correspondent for Government Executive, an independent news journal reporting on the federal government.
Eric Katz joins us now on our digital line from Washington, DC.

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