Federal lawmakers in Chicago hold hearing on mail delivery woes

We all have a story to tell when it comes to postal problems.

And now, congressional members from the Chicago area say it’s time to deliver some solutions.

That is why they held a special hearing in Chicago Friday, aimed at improving the dismal mail service. 

"We shouldn’t be spending literally 50% of our time as members of Congress solving postal delays," said Congresswoman Marie Newman. 

Thirteen members of the Chicago area congressional delegation said it’s the number one complaint they hear from constituents; Slow mail, missing mail and sometimes, no mail at all.

"People get their life-saving medicine through the mail. People get paid through the mail," said Congressman Mike Quigley. "And yet in Chicago on any single day, around 100 mail carrier routes are undelivered."

On Friday a special hearing of the congressional committee on oversight reform was held in Chicago because of its chronic postal problems. 


Lawmakers heard from Chicago’s Postmaster, and the head of Chicago’s letter carriers union, who says they’re down hundreds of employees. 

It’s a national issue as well. On-time mail delivery slid from 92% to 61% over the last decade.

Democrats blame US Postmaster General Louis DeJoy who was appointed by President Trump last year. They say his attempts at reform are killing service and raising costs.

"The head of the Postal Service, Louis DeJoy, has utterly failed to do his job, and the burden is now on the board of the USPS to do theirs and replace him," said Congressman Sean Casten. 

But the lone Republican who attended the hearing via Zoom, Pennsylvania Representative Fred Keller, said the Postal Service was failing years before DeJoy took the reins. 

"Are you going to ignore the pandemic and pretend the shift in the post service was just because of postmaster DeJoy, the things he tried? Are we doing this just to tie it to scoring political points?"

Chicago’s postmaster told the congressmen he’s adjusting start times to better coordinate mail delivery and is focusing on neighborhoods and post offices where service has been the worst.