Postmaster General Louis DeJoy stated Tuesday that he is suspending sure changes at the U.S. Postal Service until after the 2020 election so as to “avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail.”

DeJoy, whose sweeping cost-cutting measures at USPS have raised alarms about widespread mail delays that would impression the November race, stated in a press release that he is briefly halting “some longstanding operational initiatives” that “predate my arrival at the Postal Service.”

He did not cite which particular initiatives he was suspending. He did, nevertheless, present some assurances.

DeJoy’s assertion stated that retail hours at post workplaces is not going to be modified, mail processing amenities is not going to be closed and that mail processing tools is not going to be moved. He additionally stated that “overtime has, and will continue to be, approved as needed.”

DeJoy is a serious donor to Republicans and committees supporting the reelection of President Donald Trump, who has claimed with out proof that an anticipated flood of mail-in ballots in the presidential race will lead to huge ranges of voter fraud.

Democrats in latest weeks have sounded off about the steps DeJoy has taken at USPS in the months since he was selected for the role by the agency’s board of governors, all of whom had been appointed by Trump.

Those measures reportedly embody crackdowns on making late supply journeys and cuts to additional time pay, amongst different changes. The overhaul of the authorities company has led to important delays in mail deliveries, in accordance to mail employees’ advocates and different figures.

USPS has additionally come underneath fireplace amid reports of mail-sorting machines across the country being removed from amenities. DeJoy’s assertion doesn’t clarify if the machines which have already been eliminated will probably be returned to service.

“I came to the Postal Service to make changes to secure the success of this organization and its long-term sustainability,” DeJoy stated in the assertion launched by USPS on Tuesday. “I believe significant reforms are essential to that objective, and work toward those reforms will commence after the election.”

“In the meantime, there are some longstanding operational initiatives — efforts that predate my arrival at the Postal Service — that have been raised as areas of concern as the nation prepares to hold an election in the midst of a devastating pandemic,” he stated. “To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded.”

The assertion additionally stated that, beginning in October, the company will add “standby resources in all areas of our operations” to higher deal with “any unforeseen demand.” An current taskforce on election mail can even be expanded, the assertion stated.

DeJoy is scheduled to testify earlier than the majority-GOP Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Friday and the Democrat-led House Oversight Committee on Monday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Sunday stated she is calling the House again into session so as to vote on a invoice that may block DeJoy’s reported operational changes “until the COVID-19 pandemic has ended.”

The coronavirus pandemic is anticipated to immediate extra Americans than ever to solid their ballots for president by the mail. Some state leaders have made plans to broaden entry to mail-in ballots, together with by sending out ballots instantly to eligible voters. 

Earlier Tuesday, Trump claimed once more that widespread mail-in voting will lead to “a disaster the likes of which our country has never seen.”

“It’ll end up being a rigged election or they will never come out with an outcome. They’ll have to do it again,” Trump stated. “And nobody wants that.”

Read DeJoy’s full assertion beneath:

WASHINGTON, DC — Postmaster General Louis DeJoy issued the following assertion in the present day:

“The United States Postal Service will play a critical role this year in delivering election mail for millions of voters across the country. There has been a lot of discussion recently about whether the Postal Service is ready, willing and able to meet this challenge.

I want to make a few things clear:

The Postal Service is ready today to handle whatever volume of election mail it receives this fall. Even with the challenges of keeping our employees and customers safe and healthy as they operate amid a pandemic, we will deliver the nation’s election mail on time and within our well-established service standards. The American public should know that this is our number one priority between now and election day. The 630,000 dedicated women and men of the Postal Service are committed, ready and proud to meet this sacred duty. 

I am announcing today the expansion of our current leadership taskforce on election mail to enhance our ongoing work and partnership with state and local election officials in jurisdictions throughout the country. Leaders of our postal unions and management associations have committed to joining this taskforce to ensure strong coordination throughout our organization. Because of the unprecedented demands of the 2020 election, this taskforce will help ensure that election officials and voters are well informed and fully supported by the Postal Service.

I came to the Postal Service to make changes to secure the success of this organization and its long-term sustainability. I believe significant reforms are essential to that objective, and work toward those reforms will commence after the election. In the meantime, there are some longstanding operational initiatives — efforts that predate my arrival at the Postal Service — that have been raised as areas of concern as the nation prepares to hold an election in the midst of a devastating pandemic. To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded.

I want to assure all Americans of the following:

  • Retail hours at Post Offices will not change. 
  • Mail processing equipment and blue collection boxes will remain where they are.
  • No mail processing facilities will be closed.
  • And we reassert that overtime has, and will continue to be, approved as needed.      

In addition, effective Oct. 1, we will engage standby resources in all areas of our operations, including transportation, to satisfy any unforeseen demand.

I am grateful for the commitment and dedication of all the men and women of the Postal Service, and the trust they earn from the American public every day, especially as we continue to contend with the impacts of COVID-19. As we move forward, they will have the full support of our organization throughout the election.”

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