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Higher rates, slower mail could be coming to USPS, reports say

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Posted at 1:55 PM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 14:18:43-05

It is mid-February, and the U.S. Postal Service is still catching up on millions of pieces of undelivered mail from the end of last year. Now, there are reports delivery rates could increase and first-class mail could be drastically changed, or eliminated altogether.

Although a formal strategic plan has not been released from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy yet, multiple sources are reporting Americans could see “significantly” higher postage rates. An amount for this increase has not been shared at this time.

Sources told NBC News DeJoy’s plan calls for eliminating first-class mail, which includes letters, magazines, catalogs, etc., which could lead to a slow down in delivery of all mail.

Some are reporting first-class mail may not be eliminated, but rather have changes made that could drastically impact other mail. The Washington Post reports DeJoy’s plans would prevent first-class mail from being shipped by airplane, which would force a reliance on trucks and distribution hubs, and likely longer delivery times.

At the end of 2020, the USPS reported only 38% of mail estimated to take 3-to-five days for delivery was delivered on time.

DeJoy was called before Congress last year after changes he implemented regarding sorting machines, overtime protocols and other systems led to a slowdown in delivery ahead of the November election. He reversed course on those changes ahead of the election.

DeJoy’s position as Postmaster General is chosen by the USPS’s board of governors. It is meant to be a position independent of the presidential administration to run the independent postal agency.

The board is currently dominated by Republican appointees under Trump’s administration. There are open positions on the board, and some are calling on President Joe Biden to fill the positions quickly.