Election 2022 Vermont Senate

“Senator Leahy’s staff continues to follow this closely and to make inquiries about these problems with postal officials,” David Carle, the chief spokesman for U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, said. “We’ve been following it for more than a year now. USPS assured us that nobody would go more than three days without delivery, but that clearly isn’t happening.”

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BENNINGTON — While postal delivery concerns remain ongoing in town and elsewhere, they’re not going unheard by the Bennington Banner’s ownership or by the state’s congressional delegation, which remains frustrated by reports of a slowdown in service.

“Senator Leahy’s staff continues to follow this closely and to make inquiries about these problems with postal officials,” David Carle, the chief spokesman for U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, said. “We’ve been following it for more than a year now. USPS assured us that nobody would go more than three days without delivery, but that clearly isn’t happening.”

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ office said Sanders is “definitely aware and has been speaking with Vermonters and working with the district office on getting this issue resolved as soon as possible.”

Carle said the entire Vermont delegation consults with each other on Postal Service complaints, has consolidated addresses from those complaints, and sent those to the regional manager for a response.

The problems appear systemic, Carle said.

“USPS blames these issues entirely on labor shortages. Like many firms right now they are having a difficult time in finding and retaining employees, and COVID absences are not helping either,” Carle said. “The problem is exacerbated by hangups elsewhere in the system, such as missing sorting machines, truck issues and so forth.”

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“In recent weeks they’ve gotten a new sorting machine at White River Junction and reported fully staffed offices in several Post Offices that had been short-staffed for a long time, and yet we continue to see these problems,” Carle said. “It is an incredibly frustrating situation.”

Sanders has been demanding answers from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, and is seeking the end of a Bush-era funding mandate for the service and ensuring affordable banking services through postal banking, Sanders spokesperson Freeland Ellis said.

A fundamental change at the top of the Postal Service appeared more likely Friday, when President Joe Biden announced he would not re-appoint Ron Bloom, the chairman of the U.S. Postal Service board and a key ally of DeJoy, when his term expires next month. Policies instituted by DeJoy — including a slowdown of mail delivery when vote-by-mail ballots were being sent in for the 2020 presidential election — have been widely criticized.

Biden instead nominated Daniel Tangherlini, a former administrator of the General Services Administration and chief financial officer of the Department of the Treasury, and Derek Kan, an ecommerce executive who previously served in the White House budget office and as general manager for Lyft. Those governors would need to be confirmed by the Senate.

“We need a Postal Service board of governors that is committed to replacing Mr. DeJoy with a postmaster general who will protect and strengthen the Postal Service, not undermine and sabotage it,” Sanders said of the change, according to The Washington Post.

In 2006, a Republican-controlled Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which mandates the USPS pay for its post-retirement health care costs 75 years in advance. The USPS’ multibillion dollar losses have been attributed to the cost of funding that mandate.


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