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Schakowsky wants full rollback of postal cuts

The lawmaker from Evanston says calls Trump administration cuts shameful, and likely illegal.

A yard sign seen in the 1500 block of Wesley Avenue on Tuesday.

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston called at an online news conference this afternoon for “a full reversal” of cuts the Trump administration has made to the U.S. Postal Service.

After a wave of criticism of the cutbacks that have led to widespread delivery slowdowns and concerns about timely delivery of mail-in ballots for November’s election, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy late Tuesday said the service would suspend planned cuts until after the election.

But it’s not clear whether it will reverse measures already put in place, including removal of hundreds of mail sorting machines.

Jan Schakowsky.

“We need to see a full reversal of what’s been done,” Schakowsky said, adding “clearly these changes have degraded” the quality of service.

Also speaking at the news conference were residents of Schakowsky’s 9th Congressional District, including Alston Rousseau of Evanston, a military veteran who said he relies on the postal service to deliver medicine he needs from the Veterans Administration.

Alston Rousseau.

Rousseau said that if his medicine doesn’t arrive on time he could have to go to the emergency room for treatment, which would be an unnecessary expense.

“We desperately need a strong postal service,” he said, “Veterans like me depend on it.”

“Efforts of the Trump administration to undermine the postal service are shameful, and likely illegal,” Schakowsky said. “Both Trump and DeJoy could be in violation of federal law by delaying the delivery of our mail and interfering with the election.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has interrupted the House’s annual summer recess and scheduled a vote on Saturday on legislation that would revoke DeJoy’s policy changes until the end of the pandemic and provide $25 billion in additional funding for the agency.

DeJoy is also scheduled to appear at congressional hearings next week .

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