U.S. Senators Tina Smith, Amy Klobuchar Introduce Legislation to Hold Postal Service Accountable for Delayed and Undelivered Mail

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, U.S. Senators Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar (both D – MN) introduced legislation to improve the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) delivery tracking and accountability systems following concerning reports of serious mail delays across Minnesota. Congresswoman Angie Craig (D – MN2) introduced the bill in the House of Representatives in October.

This legislation would address a serious issue at USPS—that they cannot accurately track when mail routes do not receive deliveries.  A 2022 USPS Inspector General report found that the data USPS collects is based on self-reporting, which the investigation found to be consistently inaccurate.  As a result, USPS itself does not know which routes are undelivered or partially delivered or how many such routes exist. The Postal Delivery Accountability Act would require the USPS to address this systemic issue by implementing the Inspector General’s two recommendations:

  1. To ensure that the USPS has the proper tools to track delivery disruption; and 
  2. To make this information available to USPS customers. 

“When postal service is unreliable, Minnesotans can face serious consequences – from late payment fees and social security checks to days without critical prescription medications.  Yet when I ask the Postal Service for information on these disruptions, they tell me everything is fine.  The reality is that they don’t even know themselves,” said Senator Smith. “As an essential public service, USPS owes its customers transparency. The Postal Delivery Accountability Act is a step toward that goal.”

“Minnesotans rely on the Postal Service to deliver their prescriptions, Social Security checks, and more. They deserve timely service, and when the Postal Service fails to meet the mark, at the very least customers should be notified. The Postal Inspector General recommended important transparency and accountability measures that will help improve service, and this legislation will ensure they are implemented. I will keep fighting to improve the speed and reliability of the Postal Service,” said Senator Klobuchar.

Smith and Klobuchar have long worked to ensure Minnesotans can enjoy reliable postal service. Smith and Klobuchar both sent letters to Postmaster DeJoy regarding the disruptions caused by increased Amazon package delivery.  They also pressed USPS for  answers about a payroll error that led to 53,000 rural letter carriers missing or receiving only a partial paycheck. Smith and Klobuchar have also asked USPS for answers to widespread missing and delayed mail deliveries across Minnesota.