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U.S. Senator Tina Smith Presses Postmaster Louis DeJoy for Answers on Mail Issues

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Last week, U.S. Senator Tina Smith sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy pressing for answers regarding the Postal Service’s agreements with Amazon and the impact of those agreements on Minnesotans.  For years, Minnesotans have experienced mail delays and inconsistency, and postal employees have faced difficult working conditions, made worse by a volume of Amazon deliveries that push the system to the brink. Millions of Minnesotans depend on the Postal Service to pay bills, receive prescriptions, and conduct other essential business. When service is unreliable, Minnesotans can face serious consequences – from late payment fees and social security checks to days without critical prescription medications. “As Postmaster General, you are responsible for ensuring that the Postal Service meets its service standards, and it is clear right now that things are not working as they should,” wrote Senator Smith. “Entering into contracts that your system cannot support is a breach of your responsibilities.” Reporting by the Bemidji Pioneer uncovered how harsh working conditions and the implementation of a USPS service agreement with Amazon have pushed mail carriers to the breaking point. Workers are being forced to work 12-hour days for six days per week, time off requests are being cancelled, and sick leave is not being honored. Bemidji isn’t the first Minnesota community to be affected by this new agreement with Amazon – Brainerd saw similar delays after it was implemented and continues to struggle maintaining enough staff. In her letter, Senator Smith presses for answers from DeJoy on how he plans to remedy both the impact of Amazon’s service agreement and the working conditions at the Postal Service so Minnesotans receive on-time

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Introduces Legislation to Help Child Care Providers Serve Nutritious Meals

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced legislation to help ease the financial stress on child care providers across the country. Providers such as family child care homes, child care centers, Head Start programs, and after-school programs provide meals to more than 4.2 million children each day with the support of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The Child Care Nutrition Enhancement Act would increase the reimbursement rates child care providers receive for these meals. Not only would this help ensure millions of children receive nutritious meals, it would also ease the significant financial burdens for both child care providers and parents struggling to afford child care. Companion legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Greg Landsman (D-OH-1). “I have heard from too many childcare providers in Minnesota who have to dip into their own pockets to feed the kids in their care because of insufficient federal reimbursements.  Investing more in childcare will help both families who are struggling to afford care and providers who are having trouble breaking even,” said Senator Smith. “This legislation would improve an effective, but under-resourced, existing program to ensure our kids are receiving nutritious meals and help ease the financial burden on childcare providers and parents.” “Every child deserves access to nutritious meals, especially during their formative years,” said Senator Bob Casey. “The research is clear: the CACFP improves the quality of meals in child care settings. By easing the

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Co-Leads a Bicameral Push to Renew Expired Funding for Childcare

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-MN), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Bob Casey (D-PA), along with members of the House of Representatives, led a bicameral group of their colleagues in urging congressional leadership to renew expired funding for childcare in any supplemental funding package.   Funding from the American Rescue Plan Act expired in September, and the state of childcare continues to be in crisis mode.  Without this funding, many childcare providers have either closed or struggle to keep their doors open for working families. The letter comes on the heels of President Biden’s request to Congress

Tina Smith, 13 Senate Colleagues’ Statement on Humanitarian Aid to Civilians in Gaza

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) joined Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.), who led a group of Senators including Senators Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Peter Welch (D-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Ed Markey (D-MA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), in releasing the following statement: “The tragic war in Gaza, initiated by Hamas terrorist attacks on innocent civilians on October 7, is causing heartbreaking suffering among Israelis, Palestinians and citizens of other nations living in the region.

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Applauds Senate Passage of Her Bipartisan Amendment to Improve Farm Service Agency Staffing to Better Serve Farmers

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) celebrated the Senate passage of her bipartisan amendment to improve staffing at local USDA offices, which are often the first point of contact for farmers looking to make use of federal services. Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offices are critically under-staffed and too often unable to meet the needs of farmers. This bipartisan amendment, which is co-led by Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE), and cosponsored by Senator John Fetterman (D-PA), Senator Katie Britt (R-AL), and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), would help improve staffing at these local offices and improve

As Child Labor Violations Skyrocket, Senators Smith, Casey, Murray Introduce Legislation to Combat Child Labor Exploitation

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) joined Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Patty Murray (D-WA) introducing comprehensive labor legislation to protect children from exploitative child labor practices and hold companies and individuals who take advantage of them accountable. The Children Harmed in Life-threatening or Dangerous (CHILD) Labor Act cracks down on employers who violate child labor laws with much stronger federal penalties and allows children who have been exploited to sue their employers. The bill authorizes the Department of Labor to label and restrict the shipping of goods that are produced with child labor.  It also provides