Attorney General Bonta Files Administrative Complaint with Postal Commission to Block Current Piecemeal Effort to Degrade Postal Service Delivery Standards Nationwide

Thursday, October 7, 2021
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today joined a coalition of 20 attorneys general in an administrative complaint to ensure proper agency consideration of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s full 10-year strategic plan, which attempts to permanently slow U.S. Postal Service (USPS) delivery standards for first-class mail nationwide. Specifically, the administrative complaint alleges that USPS’ current piecemeal approach to introducing sweeping changes to national delivery standards violates federal law, failing to provide the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) — as well as the coalition of states — an opportunity to review the plan in its entirety. In the complaint, the coalition urges the PRC to require USPS to submit a unified plan to the PRC in line with federal law.

“These unlawful, haphazard attacks on our mail are straight out of the Trump playbook,” said Attorney General Bonta. “With little regard for the process or the consequences, these proposals threaten to put our democracy and our people at risk. Americans from all across the spectrum rely on the U.S. Postal Service for their medication, paychecks, and election mail. If you’re going to make sweeping changes to national delivery standards, you have to do it right. This effort doesn’t make the cut. It’s time to put a stop to Postmaster DeJoy’s flawed attempts to slow our mail.”

Under the various piecemeal proposals, USPS is moving swiftly and without proper diligence to change postal operations and degrade service standards across its entire operation. For instance, USPS is seeking to change its service standards for first-class mail and packages from 1-3 days to 1-5 days, asserting that the existing standards make it difficult to provide reliable and consistent service because of high costs and inefficiencies in its transportation network. However, extending the delivery timeline and then citing the new standard as evidence of improved reliability only serves to create the illusion of a solution without addressing any systemic issues inhibiting USPS’ performance. Critically, by failing to submit a unified plan, USPS is unlawfully attempting to overhaul significant aspects of the entire agency’s operations and avoiding the broad scrutiny required for such sweeping changes under federal law. Ultimately, the proposals fundamentally deviate from USPS’ core mission as a public service and threaten to ignore the potential consequences on the delivery of all types of mail across the country, including with regards to medication, paychecks for working families, and election mail.

In the complaint, the coalition asserts:

  • The Postal Service has selectively presented only parts of its plan to the PRC;
  • The Postal Service's failure to submit its full plan to the PRC violates federal law; and
  • The Postal Service's failure to request an advisory opinion harms the coalition of states and their residents.

In filing the complaint, Attorney General Bonta joins the attorneys general of Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia, Rhode Island, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

A copy of the complaint is available here.

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