Shaheen Recognizes Service of USPS Workers During Election & Pandemic, Highlights Urgent Need to Fully Fund Agency in COVID-19 Relief Legislation during Virtual Press ConferenceNovember 17, 2020
(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) joined members of New Hampshire’s American Postal Workers Union (APWU) for a virtual press conference recognizing workers for their service throughout the pandemic and particularly during the recent elections, which relied heavily on absentee voting due to the COVID-19 crisis. Shaheen also highlighted the urgent need to fully fund the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) in COVID-19 relief legislation. Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) were also in attendance.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused Americans to rely on USPS more than ever before to receive prescription drugs, do businesses, and more – including vote. Out of the 814,499 ballots that were cast in New Hampshire during the 2020 general election, 260,992 – about 32 percent – were absentee. Despite changes implemented by Postmaster General DeJoy and President Trump that have sought to politicize and undermine USPS’ operations, postal workers successfully handled the influx of election mail. However, as a result of staggering financial losses and continued attacks from the Trump administration, the agency is in urgent need of financial assistance. During the event, Shaheen thanked postal workers for successfully handling this year’s surge in election mail and urged action in Congress to pass financial relief for the agency to avoid the potential for harmful service cuts.
“I want to thank our dedicated postal workers for their service to New Hampshire during these incredibly challenging times. Despite the personal health risks they face each day performing their duties and the Trump administration’s political attacks to undermine the Postal Service, our postal workers and letter carriers have continued to serve Granite Staters and have even helped to defend our democracy by successfully processing the surge of absentee ballots during the recent election,” said Shaheen. “But as postal worker union leaders pointed out this morning, the Postal Service is in urgent need of help. The agency is facing steep financial losses and continues to be threatened by the administration’s efforts to politicize and undermine its operations. The Postmaster General must stop his harmful attacks, and Senate Majority Leader McConnell must allow the Senate to provide critical relief for the Postal Service.”
Senator Shaheen has worked to protect the United States Postal Service and its employees against attacks from the Trump administration. In September, she filed several amicus briefs in support of legal challenges to recent operational changes implemented by the USPS that had resulted in unreliable service and widespread delays ahead of the 2020 election. She called for answers on mail delivery concerns that the NH delegation had heard from Granite Staters. Shaheen previously called on the Postmaster General to answer for the recent changes to long-standing operations that have slowed mail delivery, including demanding immediate action following reports of significant delays in veterans’ prescription medications. Additionally, Shaheen has repeatedly called for additional funding to support the U.S. Postal Service in the next COVID-19 relief package. In August, Shaheen hosted a video call with unions representing New Hampshire employees of USPS and stood with postal workers to condemn the Trump administration’s attacks on the USPS.
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