U.S. Rep Tom Rice says it’s a shame, but a good decision to delay U.S. Postal Service changes

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) –  U.S. Congressman Tom Rice, R-Myrtle Beach, said it’s a shame the United States Postal Service can’t move ahead with trying to become “efficient and sustainable now.”

But, Rep. Rice added, “they realize this has created some level of controversy going into the election. They didn’t want to do anything that would undermine the confidence of Americans in the election.”

Rep. Rice was reacting to the Postmaster General’s statement that he will “suspend” changes to the United States Postal Service that have prompted concern about mail delays until after the election. The Postal Service said it has stopped removing mailboxes and mail-sorting machines after complaints from lawmakers.

“On the one hand, I think that they’re trying to implement changes to make the post office more efficient so that it’ll be more sustainable going forward,” said Rep. Rice.

The Postmaster General has said he believes “significant reforms” are essential to the success of the postal service and its long-term sustainability. But critics say the changes are causing mail delivery disruptions and warn the changes could imperil the November election.

A union leader working for the United States Postal Service in Florence told News13 some mail delivery has been delayed by about two weeks. Another union leader in Greenville said four machines were removed with no explanation, even though mail volume hasn’t substantially declined.

But Rep. Rice said he is not hearing much from people about mail slowing down. “I do believe this whole hoopla is a manufactured crisis to get attention off of other things that are going on in Washington and that they’re trying to whip up a frenzy on behalf of, in the public, so that maybe the Congress will put in about $25 billion to bail out the post office so these union folks can keep their positions,” Rice said.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy will appear Friday before the Senate to testify about the uproar over mail delivery disruptions.

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