Expressing Concern Over Operation of the U.S. Postal Service

August 14, 2020
Enewsletters

August 14, 2020

Dear Friend,

This week, I expressed my concern that the U.S. Postmaster General may have conflicts of interest in that role and wrote to him demanding that he reverse recent policies that have worsened mail service and created a dramatic increase in delayed and undelivered mail during the ongoing pandemic. I also closely monitored negotiations between House Democratic Leadership and the White House on a coronavirus relief response as millions of unemployed people miss another week without the $600 federal supplement and all Americans deal with the adverse financial consequences of the Senate’s failure to respond to the crisis. I also joined my colleagues in introducing the Maternal Health Pandemic Response Act to address maternal and infant mortality during this public health crisis; reminded constituents that today is the deadline for signing up for the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program for food assistance for up to 86,000 children in Shelby County; encouraged everyone to fill out 2020 U.S. Census forms so our community receives the federal resources it deserves; announced five grants totaling more than $2.9 million for the University of Memphis and LeMoyne-Owen College; announced a National Institutes of Health grant to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center for glaucoma research; and offered a coronavirus-related health tip. Keep reading and follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see what I am doing as it happens.

Expressing Concern Over Operation of the United States Postal Service
Monitoring Negotiations on the Next Coronavirus Relief Response
Reminding Constituents of Deadline for Pandemic Food Assistance
Introducing Maternal Health Pandemic Response Act
Urging Everyone to Fill Out U.S. Census Form
Announcing $2.9 Million in National Science Foundation Grants
Announcing Glaucoma Research Grant to UTHSC
Weekly Health Tip
Quote of the Week


Expressing Concern Over Operation of the United States Postal Service

My office is receiving more complaints than ever before about delayed and undelivered U.S. mail, and I am seeking to help solve the problem. This week, I expressed concern at reports that the U.S. Postmaster General has serious conflicts of interest from his recent private businesses and joined more than 190 of my Congressional colleagues in writing to him demanding he reverse policies that have resulted in delivery delays. At a time of pandemic, and anticipating a time when we must be able to rely on the U.S. Postal Service to handle the unprecedented demand of mail-in ballots later this year, now is not the time to disrupt and mismanage this critical service established in the U.S. Constitution. See my release about my concerns, including my letter to the Postmaster General, here.

Monitoring Negotiations on the Next Coronavirus Relief Response

The President’s recent inadequate and extra-legal responses to the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout are failures in the making. I continue to hold out hope that House Democratic negotiators can reach a compromise with Senate Republicans and the White House in the midst of the ongoing, and worsening, crisis. The House passed the comprehensive $3.4 trillion Heroes Act three months ago, intending to meet the needs of all Americans as other critical resources lapsed. The 30 million unemployed need the $600 federal supplement to state benefits, not gimmicks that won’t work. People need stimulus payments in their pockets now; the delay may have disastrous consequences. Be assured I am monitoring these developments and will act in your interests once a sensible compromise is reached.

Reminding Constituents of Deadline for Pandemic Food Assistance

Today at 4:30 p.m. is the deadline for applying for the Pandemic Electronic benefits Transfer (P-EBT) Program at the Tennessee Department of Human Services. I have been reminding constituents for weeks about the upcoming deadline while criticizing Governor Bill Lee for making the process for those children eligible for the benefits, including an estimated 86,000 in Shelby County, more difficult.

Introducing Maternal Health Pandemic Response Act

On Monday, I joined several of my colleagues in introducing the Maternal Health Pandemic Response Act, addressing maternal and infant mortality during the ongoing pandemic. See my release on the measure here and my letter to The Tennessean concerning my ongoing concerns.

Urging Everyone to Fill Out U.S. Census Form

By now you will have heard that the door-knocking and ability for households to respond either online, by phone or by mail to the U.S. Census questionnaire will stop at the end of September instead of the end of October, as previously scheduled. This could be very bad news in traditionally under-counted places like Memphis. You can find the online form at 2020Census.gov. I did mine online in a matter of minutes. I will continue to speak out about this critical concern regularly as the deadline approaches but please act now. Help your community get its fair share of our national resources. Consider filling out the form today.

Announcing $2.9 Million in National Science Foundation Grants

This week, the National Science Foundation sent more than $2.9 million in grants to the University of Memphis and LeMoyne-Owen College. See my releases on those grants here, here and here.

Announcing Glaucoma Research Grant to UTHSC

Glaucoma is a serious health problem in the Black community, so I was especially pleased to announce a National Eye Institute research grant for monitoring the disease to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) earlier this week. See a release about it here.

Weekly Health Tip

Again this week, I want to call attention to the alarming spike in coronavirus cases, including in Tennessee, likely as a result of reopening prematurely and often without implementing basic precautionary measures like wearing masks and adhering to social distancing guidelines. Please follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols and those adopted by Memphis and Shelby County for staying safe in this ongoing pandemic: Wash your hands frequently for at least 25 seconds; keep a minimum social distance of six feet from others; wear a face mask when out in public; and avoid being in crowds of more than 10. When you’re indoors, six feet might not be far enough, according to recent studies; 14 feet might be better. It might be best to wear a mask even indoors in close quarters. We must work together to get through this. 

Quote of the Week 

"There is no Republican way or Democratic way to deliver the mail. There’s only the right way, and that’s what this occasion is all about.” – President Richard Nixon, in a statement signing the Postal Reorganization Act, 50 year ago this week. 

As always, I remain.
Most sincerely,

Steve Cohen
Member of Congress