Aug 18, 2020 — ISSAQUAH, WA — Rep. Kim Schrier visited the Issaquah Post Office on Tuesday to share stories from some of her constituents who have already been affected by recent cuts to the U.S. Postal Service.
The congresswoman’s visit came on the same day Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a federal lawsuit challenging recent and planned cuts to the USPS, including the elimination of staff overtime, decommissioning of some sorting machines and plans to halt outgoing mail processing at three of Washington’s five distribution centers.
Recently-appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said Tuesday that he would pause operational changes until after the presidential election, but it was not immediately clear what the effect would be for reductions that were already implemented. DeJoy will testify before Congress on Friday.
In Issaquah, Rep. Schrier said hundreds of her constituents had reached out to share stories of medications and payments being delayed in recent weeks, including veterans and seniors on fixed incomes.
“While I am glad that Postmaster Louis DeJoy announced today that he will stop his cuts to the U.S. Postal Service for the next few months, that doesn’t erase the experience of my constituents who have been adversely affected medically and financially over the last few months,” Schrier said. “I will hold Postmaster DeJoy to his promise. Service must be restored as soon as possible.”
In a news release, Schrier shared excerpts from two constituents:
Joy from Auburn: “I recently experienced a significant delay in the delivery of a first-class small package. According to the tracking information provided by the merchant, my package arrived at the Portland, Oregon, U. S. Postal Service mail processing center on Tues. Aug. 4th. Thirteen days later (on Aug. 17th), I finally received my package. The distance between Portland and Auburn is only 200 interstate highway miles. Waiting thirteen days for the mail delivery from Portland, OR to Auburn, WA. is not acceptable. To make matters worse, the delayed package contained urgently needed additional Covid-19 protection face masks for my family.”
Mary from Enumclaw: “I am disabled. Medicare covers the treatment for my disability. However, I have to file my claims for Medicare using the USPS and Medicare pays my claims via USPS.
Due to the current USPS slow down, I am now two months behind in receiving my medical care claim payments. All medical claims have been approved by Medicare and checks have been issued. However, I have not received my June claim checks that were processed, approved and released on July 20th by Medicare. I mailed my July claim on August 1st. Medicare has still not received that claim. This is now $4,000 out of my pocket that I cannot afford. I have never had an issue with the Medicare claim process in the past. Turnaround from my mailing a claim, to Medicare processing the claim to me receiving a check, was 3-4 weeks prior to the current USPS situation. I am now at 8 weeks and counting for my June claims.
I have missed my August rent. The first time I have missed rent my entire 55 years due to the amount of money that is held up by the USPS. I am also having to stop my medical treatments until I receive my claim checks from June and July.”
Schrier is seeking a second term in Congress this year and will face Republican challenger Jesse Jensen in the November general election.