Internal USPS documents show service standards dropped ‘across the board’ starting in July, House panel says

The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform, led by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., obtained and released internal documents from the United States Postal Service on Aug. 22 that illustrate a significant drop in USPS service standards “across the board,” according to a news release from the committee.

According to the House committee, the documents were part of an internal USPS briefing given to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Aug. 12, and represented what the committee called a “detailed assessment of service performance trends over the past year.”

“According to these documents, there has been a significant drop in service standards across the board since the beginning of July—including in First-Class, Marketing, Periodicals, and Priority Mail,” a press release from the committee said.

“The Postmaster General and his top aides have never admitted to the sweeping delays and reductions in service caused by his actions and detailed in these new documents,” Maloney said.

RELATED: House passes bill to reverse changes blamed for mail delays

On Saturday, the House passed a bill that would put a halt to postal changes, which has been blamed for previous delays. DeJoy testified Friday in the Senate that his “No. 1 priority” is to ensure election mail arrives on time.

But the new postal leader, a Trump ally, said he would not restore the cuts to mailboxes and sorting equipment that have already been made. He could not provide senators with a plan for handling the ballot crush for the election.

DeJoy returned Monday to testify before the House Oversight Committee, where he told lawmakers that he has warned allies of the president that Trump’s repeated attacks on mail-in ballots are “not helpful,” but denied that recent changes at the Postal Service are linked to the November elections.

“I am not engaged in sabotaging the election,” DeJoy said, adding that, like Trump, he personally plans to vote by mail. DeJoy did acknowledge at a Senate hearing last week that there has been a “dip” in service, but disputed reports of widespread problems.

DeJoy’s comments came as the oversight panel opened a hearing on operational changes at the Postal Service that have resulted in mail delays nationwide. The House-approved legislation that was passed Saturday aims to reverse the changes and send $25 billion to shore up the agency ahead of the November election, but there are doubts about whether it will pass the Senate.

The hearing on Monday held by the House Oversight Committee to discuss the Postal Service quickly became a debate over mail delivery disruptions being reported nationwide. Democrats said the changes under DeJoy's watch are causing widespread delays, but Republicans dismissed the worries as unfounded and part of a Democratic “conspiracy” against Trump.

RELATED: Postmaster General Louis DeJoy says election mail will go through despite cuts

“The American people don’t want anyone messing with the post office," said Maloney. “They just want their mail.”

The Postal Service has been struggling financially under a decline in mail volume, COVID-19-related costs and a rare and cumbersome congressional requirement to fund in advance its retiree health care benefits.

For many, the Postal Service provides a lifeline, delivering not just cards and letters but also prescription drugs, financial statements and other items that are especially needed by mail during the pandemic

The Associated Press contributed to this report.