Aug 24, 2020 - Politics & Policy

DeJoy: "I'll submit that I know very little about postage stamps"

Under questioning from Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.), Postmaster General Louis DeJoy acknowledged at a hearing on Monday that he knows "very little about postage stamps."

Why it matters: Porter and other Democrats have accused DeJoy, a Trump donor and successful businessman, of being unqualified to serve in his position at a time when the U.S. Postal Service is set to deliver a record number of mail-in ballots ahead of the November election.

The big picture: DeJoy, who clashed repeatedly with Democratic members of the House Oversight Committee during Monday's hearing, vehemently denied that he is "engaged in sabotaging the election" as part of a campaign by President Trump to undermine mail-in voting.

  • He reiterated that he would suspend until after the election the sweeping operational changes that have reportedly been causing widespread mail delays, but he would not commit to reversing them or reinstalling dismantled mail sorting machines.
  • DeJoy also testified that many of the changes that he's been accused of making were in effect before he arrived in the job in June and that he does not know who ordered them.

The exchange:

PORTER: "What is the cost of a first-class postage stamp?"
DEJOY: "55 cents. "
PORTER: "Just wanted to check. What about to mail a postcard?"
DEJOY: "I don't know."
PORTER: "You don't know the cost to mail a postcard? 
DEJOY: "I don't. "
PORTER: "What if I want to mail a — you said 55 cents for a first-class stamp, but what if it's one of those greeting cards that's a square envelope. Then what is the postage?"
DEJOY: "I will submit that I know very little about postage stamps."
PORTER: "Do you know about, within a million or so, can you tell me how many people voted by mail in the last presidential election?"
DEJOY: "No, I cannot."
PORTER: "To the nearest 10 million? 
DEJOY: "I would be guessing, and I don't want to guess."
PORTER: "Okay. So Mr. DeJoy, I am concerned — I'm glad you know the price of a stamp, but I am concerned about your understanding of this agency."
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