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19 States Push Back on USPS' Unpleasant Changes

They, plus DC, are filing a challenge to the agency's budget-cutting plan
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2021 2:00 AM CDT
19 States Push Back on USPS' Unpleasant Changes
A US Postal Service carrier walks his route delivers the mail in Mount Lebanon, Pa., on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021.   (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

(Newser) – The United States Postal Service launched its 10-year plan to cut costs on Oct. 1, including such unpleasant-sounding practices as slowing mail delivery, reducing post office hours, and increasing postage costs. Now, attorneys general in 19 states plus the District of Columbia are fighting back. They've filed an administrative complaint seeking to block the plan until the Postal Regulatory Commission can fully review it, NPR reports. Medication, paychecks, and election mail could all be impacted, they say, arguing that the move puts not just individuals but democracy itself at risk.

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The AGs say it was a big mistake for the USPS to implement the changes without first getting an advisory opinion from the Postal Regulatory Commission, NY1 reports. If the commission blocks the changes, a period of public comment would be allowed, then the commissioners would hold a hearing. "We are taking a very close look at what the Postal Service is doing to degrade mail service, and whether they have complied with their legal authority to get the sign-on by the postal services commission," said the North Carolina AG when asked whether further legal action is being considered. Says an expert, "I think by January, you have a lawsuit." (Read more US Postal Service stories.)

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