Aug 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Top Democrat introduces bill to counter Trump's "politicization" of USPS

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy adjusts his face mask during a congressional hearing

Photo: Tom Brenner-Pool/Getty Images

House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) introduced a bill on Tuesday designed to counter President Trump's "politicization of the Postal Service" on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The bill follows Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's combative testimony before Maloney's committee on Monday, where he testified that he would not reverse the operational changes that have reportedly caused widespread mail delays ahead of the 2020 election.

  • DeJoy, a Republican megadonor and Trump ally, denied that he was seeking to "sabotage" mail-in voting ahead of the election, as Democrats have alleged.
  • He previously said he would suspend the changes — which he said were already in motion before he took office — until after the election in order to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.

The state of play: If the bill passes, it would prohibit the Postal Service Board of Governors, the Postmaster General and the Deputy Postmaster General from holding any political position while in office.

  • It would also restrict nominees to those who have not engaged in political activities in the four years leading up to their appointment.

What they're saying: "As we heard at our hearing yesterday, both of these officials are longtime Republican operatives, fundraisers, and mega-donors, and they are overt about their efforts to help Donald Trump win in November," Maloney said in a statement, referring to DeJoy and Postal Service Board of Governors chair Robert Duncan.

  • "In so many areas, including the Postal Service, the Census Bureau, and the Justice Department, President Trump is fundamentally degrading the longstanding independence of our core constitutional functions to his own political ends right before our eyes."

Of note: The House voted on Saturday to give the USPS $25 billion and to block and reverse the operational changes that are leading to widespread mail delays.

  • 26 Republicans supported the measure, but the bill is unlikely to move forward after a White House veto threat.
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