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New Hampshire Congressional Delegation Sends Letter Urging the U.S. Postal Service to Reconsider its Potentially Damaging Changes to Manchester Facility

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), along with U.S. Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01), sent a letter to the United States Postal Service (USPS) expressing concerns over a recent announcement that it was selecting the Manchester Processing and Distribution Center for an operations evaluation, which could result in employee layoffs and mail delays. In their letter, which was sent to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, the Congressional delegation calls for the agency to improve its efforts to gather community feedback during the review, evaluate the damaging impact its changes could have on mail service in New Hampshire and, ultimately, reconsider their proposals.

In part, the delegation wrote, “Our constituents depend on the Postal Service for prompt and reliable mail and package deliveries. Delays of critical deliveries, such as medications and benefit payments, can cause significant harm, especially for elderly Americans and those living in rural areas. The decisions the Postal Service is considering would put at risk the ability for individuals across New Hampshire to rely on the Postal Service to ensure their delivery needs are met.”

The delegation concluded, “We believe that the proposed changes under consideration are too damaging to proceed, and we urge the Postal Service to reconsider these proposals.”

A full text of the letter can be found here.

Shaheen and Hassan have been stalwart supporters of efforts to improve and reform the USPS, ensuring that Granite Staters receive their mail in a timely manner, no matter what part of the state they live in. Hassan helped introduce – and Shaheen strongly supported – a bill that was signed into law to address longstanding financial and structural issues at the USPS. Shaheen and Hassan have repeatedly called for Congress to provide financial relief to USPS during the COVID-19 pandemic, including urging Postmaster General DeJoy to restore on-time delivery and stop harmful changes that were delaying delivery of Prescription Medication to Granite Staters.

Shaheen has also called on Postmaster DeJoy to increase security and verification tools to help Granite Staters combat fraudulent change of address requests. Ahead of the 2020 election, Shaheen filed an amicus brief with a group of Senators in support of legal challenges to operational changes implemented by USPS that have resulted in unreliable service and widespread delays. The New Hampshire delegation also successfully confirmed that ballots received locally would be delivered directly to the local clerk’s office after raising concerns about timely delivery. Prior to this announcement, the Postal Service had required that ballots returned by voters in New Hampshire be routed to processing facilities in Manchester, NH or White River Junction, VT, which would have unnecessarily delayed the delivery of ballots.

Following a request from Senator Hassan, the Postal Service Inspector General issued a report that found that the main cause of postal delays and poor service in New Hampshire was due to a lack of permanent staff. In the months following the report, in 2021 the Postal Service hired more than 150 new permanent employees in New Hampshire.