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Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Ting Shen/Xinhua via Getty

Top Democrats in the House and Senate called on Sunday for Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to testify at an "urgent" hearing before the House Oversight Committee on Aug. 24.

Why it matters: Democratic lawmakers say they're being inundated with complaints that changes to the Postal Service, which the Trump administration says are aimed at efficiency, could sabotage ballot-handling. DeJoy was previously scheduled to testify before the committee on Sept. 17.

  • Ahead of the Aug. 24 hearing, the Democrats are demanding DeJoy produce a "host of key documents and information" related to the USPS crisis by Aug. 21.
  • They are also urging the Republican-led Senate Homeland Security Committee to "immediately begin vigorous and urgently-needed oversight" by holding hearings with DeJoy and the chairman of the USPS board of governors.

What they're saying: “The President has explicitly stated his intention to manipulate the Postal Service to deny eligible voters access to the ballot in pursuit of his own re-election," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Oversight chair Carolyn Maloney and Senate Homeland Security ranking member Gary Peters said in a statement Sunday.

  • "Alarmingly, the Postmaster General – a Trump mega-donor – has acted as an accomplice in the President’s campaign to cheat in the election, as he launches sweeping new operational changes that degrade delivery standards and delay the mail."
  • "The Postal Service itself has warned that voters – even if they send in their ballots by state deadlines – may be disenfranchised in 46 states and in Washington, D.C. by continued delays. This constitutes a grave threat to the integrity of the election and to our very democracy."

What to watch: House Democrats will hold a members-only conference call Sunday at 11:30 a.m. to discuss an early return for the whole House to respond to "the attack on the Postal Service," Democratic sources tell Axios.

  • Speaker Pelosi raised the idea on a 5:30 p.m. call Saturday with House leaders.
  • "Everyone had a story" about the impact of DeJoy's changes, a source told Axios.

The House has no votes scheduled until the week of Sept. 14, according to Politico, which first reported the possibility of cutting the August recess short.

  • The source told Axios the starting point will be Maloney's "Delivering for America Act," which "would prohibit the Postal Service from dialing back levels of service it had in place on Jan. 1, until the pandemic ends.

During a news conference Saturday evening at his club in Bedminster, N.J., Trump defended Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a former RNC fundraising official: "He wants to make the post office great again."

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Go deeper

Michigan board certifies Biden's win

Poll workers count absentee ballots in Detroit, Michigan on Nov. 4. Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers certified the state's election results on Monday, making President-elect Joe Biden's win there official and granting him the state's 16 electoral votes.

Why it matters: Republican Party leaders had unsuccessfully appealed to delay the official certification, amid the Trump campaign's failed legal challenges in key swing states.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 8 hours ago - Technology

A dark view of the future of autonomous weapons

A still from the video "If Human: Kill ( )." Image: Future of Life Institute

A new short film warns of the coming risks posed by the development and proliferation of lethal autonomous weapons.

Why it matters: Drones with the ability to autonomously target and kill without the assistance of a human operator are reportedly already being used on battlefields, and time is running out to craft a global ban of what could be a destabilizing and terrifying new class of weapon.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine — Pfizer could have vaccine data for children under five by end of 2021, CEO says.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.