- Florida Democratic congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said that she was barred from entry to two USPS mail sorting facilities in South Florida.
- A spokeswoman for USPS said that they could not permit the congresswoman to tour the facilities because they “were unable to set up the tour on such short notice,” according to NBC News.
- Wasserman Schultz told the Washington Post that her visit was not a “request” but a “notification,” and added she was not made aware of any lengthy notification policies during her previous visits earlier in the year.
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Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said that she was barred from entry into two USPS mail sorting facilities.
—Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (@RepDWStweets) September 4, 2020
A member of the Oversight Committee, Wasserman Schultz told NBC News that it is her duty to look into the USPS facilities, as concerns for delayed mail delivery continue to heighten.
Last month, USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testified to the House of Representatives Oversight Committee, which Wasserman Schultz is part of. Lawmakers have questioned DeJoy for his various cost-cutting measures such as cutting overtime for postal service workers, cutting post office hours, and displacing some mail collection boxes, as delays in mail delivery cause concern for mail-in-ballots in the upcoming election.
To contend to these concerns and inspect the facilities, Wasserman Schultz arrived early morning for a 4 am tour of a mail processing and distribution center in Opa-Locka, which is within 20 minutes driving distance of Miami, according to The Washington Post. The Post reported that the parking lot entry was roped off with caution tape and local postal service officials told Wasserman that USPS leadership had ordered them to prevent her from entry.
Wasserman Schultz was denied entry again at 6:30 am when she visited a different sorting facility in Miami, The Post reported.
A spokesperson for USPS said that they did not allow the congresswoman from entering because she did not notify them with enough time in advance, according to NBC News. A congressional aid said that they had notified the USPS early afternoon of the day before her visit, and explained they intentionally requested on short notice for fear that facilities would hide problems during the congresswoman’s visit, NBC News reported.
“It wasn’t a request,” Wasserman Schultz told the Post. “It was a notification.”
The congresswoman added that when she had previously visited the facilities earlier on in the year, she was not made aware of any lengthy visitation policies, the Post and NBC News reported.
“Denying Congress access to the facilities is denying the vital public oversight of our mail system,” Wasserman Schultz told NBC News.