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20 attorneys general file a complaint to block the Postal Service's strategic plan

Attorneys general in 19 states and the District of Columbia filed an administrative complaint Thursday seeking to block U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's 10-year budget-cutting plan that includes slower deliveries, more expensive mailing rates and reduced hours for post offices.

The complaintbrought by the 20 attorneys general demands that the Postal Regulatory Commission thoroughly review DeJoy's plan in detail before fully rolling out the proposed changes that will affect service nationwide.

The process would allow U.S. Postal Service customers to provide comments during a hearing before the commissioners.

The attorneys general say DeJoy has asked the commission to review only two of the four components of the Postal Service's 10-year plan.

"With little regard for the process or the consequences, these proposals threaten to put our democracy and our people at risk," California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement sent to NPR.

Bonta said DeJoy's efforts for the strategic plan don't "make the cut" because Americans rely on the U.S. Postal Service for their "medication, paychecks, and election mail."

The Postal Service announcedthe plan in March.

The changes, which went into effect Oct. 1, call for slower delivery times for some first-class mail, shorter hours for some post offices along with more expensive postal rates.

On Oct. 3, the Postal Service temporarily began increasing prices on all commercial and retail domestic packages extending through the holiday season, said USPS spokesperson Kim Frum in an email to NPR.

The temporary increase in prices will end on Dec. 26.

"The need for the U.S. Postal Service to transform to meet the needs of our customers is long overdue," DeJoy said in announcing the plan.

In August, the Postal Service announced its standard for first-class mail delivery was met 83.6% of the time during the quarter ending June 30 — in comparison to its 88.9% performance in 2020 during the same period.

The Postal Service also reported a loss of $3 billion for the quarter ending June 30, compared with $2.2 billion in the previous year.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jonathan Franklin
Jonathan Franklin is a digital reporter on the News desk covering general assignment and breaking national news.