Postmaster General Louis DeJoy confirmed he has no intention to return mail processing and sorting machines that have already been removed from United States Postal Service locations.
During the Senate hearing with the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Friday, DeJoy was asked about the machines that had been removed from Postal Service locations across the United States.
With the anticipation of increased mail volume due to the upcoming election, Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) asked DeJoy if he planned to return the decommissioned machines to postal locations ahead of the election. DeJoy confirmed he did not intend to.
“There’s no intention to do that. They’re not needed, DeJoy said.
SEN. PETERS: Will you bring back any mail sorting machines that have been removed recently?— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 21, 2020
DeJOY: There is not intention to do that. They are not needed. pic.twitter.com/ClKxv9Gxlf
When asked again for the reason machines would not be returned, DeJoy reiterated they are “not needed.”
DeJoy attributed the decision to a rapid decline in mail volume. According to DeJoy, the machines were removed to create space in an effort to increase productivity for package processing.
According to The Washington Times, more than 671 high-volume sorting machines and 700 mail collection boxes have been removed from various cities and states across the United States.
DeJoy claims he is personally unaware of which boxes are being removed. He noted that more than 35,000 collection boxes have been removed over the last 10 years, and insisted the removal decision is based on a data-driven process that was in place before his appointment.
”The mail volume, you know, is dropping very rapidly and especially during the COVID crisis,” DeJoy said, adding, “And package volume is growing, and when I spoke with the team — when this too became —got a lot of airplay, we really are moving these machines out to make room to process packages.”
DeJoy claims that he had no idea that mailboxes and mail sorting machines were being removed. pic.twitter.com/DWuLysjMQQ— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) August 21, 2020
“We still have hundreds of these machines everywhere and still not any kind of drain on the capacity,” DeJoy said.