Aug 17, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Postmaster general agrees to testify amid USPS outcry

Louis DeJoy

DeJoy escorted through Congress. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has agreed to a request from top Democrats to testify at an "urgent" hearing before the House Oversight Committee next Monday about changes to the U.S. Postal Service.

Why it matters: Democrats have been raising alarms about widespread disruptions to the Postal Service, which some allege President Trump is attempting to undermine ahead of an election that will see a record number of mail-in ballots. DeJoy is a wealthy businessman and longtime Republican fundraiser.

The big picture: Trump has railed against the reliability of "universal" mail-in voting and claimed, without evidence, that it will lead to a "rigged" election.

  • He denied on Monday that his administration is attempting to slow down the mail or that he's "tampering" with the election, arguing that DeJoy is simply trying to reform an agency that is “one of the disasters of the world.”
  • "I'm just making it good. We have a very, very good business guy running it, and I want to make — I jokingly say, but it's true — I want to make the Post Office great again, okay?" Trump said on Fox News.

The other side: Speaker Nancy Pelosi has responded to what she has called "sabotage" of the USPS by demanding a hearing with DeJoy and calling the House back to session to vote on legislation next Saturday.

  • Some Democratic lawmakers, including moderate Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), have even said that DeJoy should be arrested if he does not appear for the hearing.

Worth noting: Robert Duncan, the chairman of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors, has also agreed to testify before the committee.

  • The Board of Governors "directs the exercise of the powers of the Postal Service, directs and controls its expenditures, reviews its practices, conducts long-range planning, approves officer compensation and sets policies on all postal matters," according to the committee.

What they're saying: "I'm pleased that the Postmaster General will testify voluntarily before the Oversight Committee on Monday about the sweeping operational and organizational changes he has been making to the Postal Service," House Oversight chair Carolyn Maloney said in a statement.

  • "I also look forward to receiving his production of documents and other information by this Friday in response to the detailed request I made last week with Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Chairperson Lofgren, and Senate Ranking Members Peters and Klobuchar."
  • "The American people want their mail, medicines, and mail-in ballots delivered in a timely way, and they certainly do not want drastic changes and delays in the midst of a global pandemic just months before the election."
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