CHICAGO (CBS) — On Thursday, Illinois U.S. Congressman Bobby Rush called for the head of the postal service in Chicago to step down.
While there is no indication Postmaster Wanda Prater will honor the request, mail delays are getting longer in Chicago and calls to replace Prater’s boss in Washington are getting louder.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Weekend Warmup
CBS 2’s Chris Tye reports on the delays and why next week may be a big one for the future of Prater’s boss in Washington.
A cabal of cowards.
That’s how some in Congress describe the USPS leadership. Hearings next week could turn up the heat on an agency offering cold customer service. And the troubling trends far predated the pandemic and winter storms.
“I used to get mail everyday. It’s been five weeks now.”
But, it’s been 35 days since Selena Armstrong last saw new mail. Bills and medicine, license plate renewals, the works.
“I started asking my neighbors ‘have you got mail? No I haven’t gotten mail,'” Armstrong said.
At the end of 2019, first class packages arrived on time, 75% of the time nationally. There’s been a 15% slide in that number over the last fifteen months.
The Midwest region is worse than the national average, with just over half of mail promised between three to five days actually makes deadline.READ MORE: Northwestern Alums Create 'The Seeker,' A Highly Accurate Football Thrower They Call A Robotic QB
“I believe there needs to be new leadership,” said Armstrong said.
Calls to fire the Chicago Postmaster came on Thursday. Calls to replace the nation’s Postmaster General, President Trump appointee Louis DeJoy, have been coming in for months.
But only the USPS Board of Governors can fire him, not President Biden.
Six of the nine board members are Trump picks. The other three remain open.
Biden, with U.S. Senate approval, can pick replacements. Member Ron Bloom can also be replaced with a Biden pick, since he’s serving extra time. Still, four out of nine couldn’t oust DeJoy.
Which is why Illinois U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth is among Senate Democrats writing to Biden:
“I am requesting that you use your authority….to replace the entire USPS Board of Governors.”
Which he can do, but the White house has signaled he won’t.
“I don’t know what to do at this point,” said Armstrong. “Do I go to station and ask ‘do you have mail for me?'”MORE NEWS: Cariacature Artist, Substitute Teacher Says She Keeps Trying To Reach Illinois Unemployment Office -- Only To Have Calls Dropped
The hearing by the Congressional Oversight Committee is slated for Wednesday in Washington.