Feb 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy apologizes for "unacceptable" mail delays

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy apologized before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday for the persistent delays in the U.S. Postal Service’s mail delivery amid the peak holiday season.

Why it matters: The U.S. Postal Service, which came under fire last year for its handling of mail-in ballot delivery for the 2020 election, is in crisis as it deals with pre-existing financial concerns that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic.

  • “Too many Americans were left waiting for weeks for important deliveries of mail and packages. This is unacceptable, and I apologize to those customers who felt the impact of all delays,” DeJoy said at Wednesday’s hearing.

The big picture: DeJoy, a former GOP fundraiser, discussed a 10-year strategy to address the Postal Service’s inadequacies, including outdated pricing and infrastructure underinvestment.

  • He blamed years of “financial stress, underinvestment, unachievable service standards and a lack of operational precision” for the Postal Service’s current state of crisis.

What’s next: Some Democrats are calling for DeJoy’s ouster.

  • There are also calls for President Biden to nominate new members to the board who have the power to name a replacement postmaster general.
  • Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) is calling for the removal of not only DeJoy, but also all six members of the board: "Fire everybody at the top," he told NPR in an interview. "They've done a lousy job."

The bottom line: Asked by Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) how much longer he planned to stay in the job, DeJoy responded tersely: "Long time. Get used to me."

Editor's note: This post has been corrected to reflect that the representative from Tennessee is Jim Cooper (not Bill Cooper), and that DeJoy was not appointed by former President Trump.

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