Warnock-led group demands answers about mail delays, sets May 10 deadline

Letter to postmaster general includes 6 U.S. Congress members from Georgia
The United States Postal Service has been experiencing widespread mail delays.

Credit: Arvin Temkar/AJC

Credit: Arvin Temkar/AJC

The United States Postal Service has been experiencing widespread mail delays.

U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock is leading a handful of Congress members from Georgia in demanding answers from the United States Postal Service about widespread mail delays.

In recent months, the postal service has been experiencing major problems with deliveries, creating headaches for customers. In addition to late mail and stalled packages, bills are not arriving on time and medications are being delayed.

In a letter sent Friday, Warnock and six other lawmakers from the state pressed U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy for answers about the implementation of the agency’s “Delivering for America” plan and what is contributing to the mail delays. U.S. Reps. Lucy McBath, David Scott, Hank Johnson, Nikema Williams, Sanford Bishop and Rich McCormick joined Warnock on the letter. All but McCormick are Democrats.

Warnock also requested responses to several detailed questions regarding the postal service’s plan and how it aims to meet its objectives. The lawmakers are requesting that USPS provides answers by May 10.

Introduced in 2021, the 10-year “Delivering for America” plan was created to improve postal service efficiency. A 2023 report from USPS listed a number of objectives, including a modernized vehicle fleet, increased revenue and a 95% on-time reliability rate.

“Although USPS intended for these changes to streamline operations, we are concerned these actions will negatively affect USPS’s service performance and restrict access to essential postal services,” the letter states.

Those essential services also include the delivery of things such as tax documents, ballots and government checks, they said.

“While we broadly support the efficiency and reliability goals of USPS’s ‘Delivering for America’ plan, we are concerned that changes in USPS’s processing and delivery network will negatively and disproportionately affect vulnerable communities in Georgia and across the nation.”

The problems have gotten more prominent since the opening of the Atlanta Regional Processing and Distribution Center in Palmetto in February, the letter states.

“As USPS implements changes to its network, USPS must ensure no Georgians, especially those with limited mobility options and urgent needs, are left behind for the sake of modernization,” the letter said.

In March, U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff also sent a letter to DeJoy, saying timely mail delivery is a vital public service.

“I urge you to expeditiously investigate the reported delays across the metro Atlanta area and to take any necessary and appropriate actions to ameliorate any issues,” Ossoff wrote at the time.

Citing that USPS has failed to live up to a timeliness standard, Warnock has now asked some of the following questions in the letter:

  • How will USPS apply the lessons learned from disruptions associated with the Atlanta RPDC to ensure that future operational changes are as seamless and unnoticeable to customers as possible?
  • Please explain in detail how USPS plans to ensure that communities and individuals with limited mobility or access to transportation services, including America’s disabled, rural, economically disadvantaged, and underserved populations, will not be adversely or disproportionately affected by the implementation of the “Delivering for America” plan.
  • Please explain in detail what actions USPS is taking to ensure that its implementation of the plan will not negatively affect or hinder its ability to deliver mail-in ballots securely, efficiently and correctly by election day.

Customers at a Dunwoody post office told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last month that sometimes packages don’t leave the facility where they are dropped off for several days. One customer said he paid $25 for two-day delivery, but his mail was still late.

“In both everyday delivery and express delivery, things from Atlanta to either Atlanta or across the country, come late,” Fred Johnston said. “I try to strategize by mailing early.”

This is the latest effort from Warnock to hold USPS accountable for its service to Georgians.

In March, he joined Ossoff and U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk in asking DeJoy to provide an explanation for alleged fraud at the Marietta post office last year. Warnock and Ossoff have also worked previously to address poor conditions at the Greene County post office and investigate check-washing in Dunwoody.