Reynolds Blocks Iowa AG From Joining USPS Lawsuit

Gov. Kim Reynolds denied Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller’s request to join a multi-state lawsuit seeking to halt service and policy changes at the U.S. Postal Service, Miller’s office confirmed on Tuesday afternoon.

“As per my agreement with Gov. Kim Reynolds, I requested to join a lawsuit challenging changes at the U.S. Postal Service. The governor did not consent,” Miller said in a statement to Starting Line.

A spokesman for Miller said the attorney general made the request on Monday and Reynolds denied it today. The Associated Press reported earlier this month that Reynolds has blocked two-thirds of Miller’s requests to join multi-state lawsuits since Miller agreed in May 2019 to ask Reynolds’ approval before joining lawsuits that challenge Trump Administration policies.

“I’m very concerned about service and policy changes at the Post Office,” Miller continued. “Reports from the American Postal Workers Union indicate that mail delivery in Iowa has been slowed by limits on staff overtime and removal of automatic sorting machines.”

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On Tuesday afternoon, The Washington Post reported “at least 21 states plan to file lawsuits this week against the U.S. Postal Service and its new postmaster, Louis DeJoy, seeking to reverse service changes that have prompted widespread reports of delays and accusations of an intentional effort to thwart voters from mailing their ballots this fall.”

All of the attorneys general participating in the lawsuits are Democrats, but Attorney General Miller and Iowa are not among them.

According to The Post, the lawsuits “will argue that that Postal Service broke the law by making operational changes without first seeking approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission. They will also argue that the changes will impede states’ ability to run free and fair elections.”

Earlier today, DeJoy released a statement saying he was “suspending” new initiatives, such as scaling back overtime pay, reducing post office hours and closing mail processing facilities, “until after the election is concluded.”

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“To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded,” DeJoy said.

Miller said he was “encouraged” DeJoy “temporarily suspended some changes. He should reverse what’s already been done, however,” Miller said.

“My attorney general colleagues are going to court to ensure his promises are binding. I agree with their assertion that the postmaster general has acted outside of its authority to implement changes and did not follow the proper procedures required by federal law.”

Miller told Starting Line he encourages Iowans to vote by mail this fall and that he “will do everything I can to ensure all eligible votes will be counted.”

 

By Elizabeth Meyer
Posted 8/18/20

Iowa Starting Line is an independently-owned progressive news outlet devoted to providing unique, insightful coverage on Iowa news and politics. We need reader support to continue operating — please donate here. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more coverage.

2 Comments on "Reynolds Blocks Iowa AG From Joining USPS Lawsuit"

  • Gov. Stonewall Reynolds has once again blocked AG Tom Miller from fighting back against Trump and his cronies. The U.S. Postal
    Service has an essential job to perform every day.
    They do not manufacture a product or print money like the Treasury Department, but their essential service of delivering mail and packages should be improved and not destroyed by a cutthroat businessman who has no experience in government.

  • Thank you Governor Reynolds for making it crystal clear to all Iowans where you stand on the issue of us being able to have a safe , fair and free election. Notably you took time out during an on-going pandemic and communities reeling from last weeks derecho to undermine our Attorney General from joining a lawsuit to protect our right to vote. But hey nice photo-op yesterday with Republican Senator Grassley and Senator Ernst.

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