Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, who chairs the House Oversight and Reform Committee, launched a hearing with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy by charging that he is making “sweeping changes to hobble mail-in voting.”
DeJoy again debunked the newest Trump-USPS collusion hoax at the Monday hearing, in the same fashion that he did at a Senate hearing last Friday, though he said the president’s uncertainty about voting by mail is “not helpful.”
He acquiesced to demands that he halt measures to improve efficiency, reliability, and profitability at the Postal Service until after the election. He admitted that these measures caused a short-term “dip” in on-time deliveries.
“I am not engaged in sabotaging the election,” DeJoy said, as he reaffirmed that the USPS is capable of delivering absentee ballots.
“I did not direct the removal of blue collection boxes or the removal of mail-processing equipment. I did not direct the cutback on hours at any of our post offices. I did not direct the elimination or any cutback in overtime,” he said.
In addition, he said he has authorized overtime and extra mail pickups and deliveries to ensure the timely delivery of election mail.
DeJoy would not agree to bring back decommissioned blue postal boxes or sorting machines, saying that they are not necessary to the efficient and reliable operation of the Postal Service.
During President Barack Obama’s administrations, thousands of blue collection boxes and sorting machines were removed by a Democratic Postmaster General. No one raised a complaint until DeJoy, a Republican, took command of the Postal Service.
Maloney repeated the corporate media’s debunked narrative that President Donald Trump installed DeJoy as Postmaster General, even though Republicans and Democrats on the USPS Board of Governors independently vetted and unanimously approved his nomination.
Ranking member James Comer, R-Kent., said these allegations are part of a “baseless conspiracy theory” against DeJoy and Trump as well as an effort to pass $25 billion worth of USPS pork with “no hearings, no markup,” and “no Republican input.”
USPS administrators oppose the legislation because the agency has $14 billion in cash-on-hand (and $10 billion in emergency credit) and has stated that neither money nor any other obstacle will prevent it from handling the relatively small amount of election mail.
“They read the bill and realized that it ties their hands and will make it harder and more expensive to deliver the mail,” Comer said. “At least this legislation is consistent with the Obama-Biden years at the Postal Service: more delays; more financial losses.”
Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., said the Republican-led Postal Service Board of Governors requested the additional funding.
He, and many other Democrats throughout the hearing, accused DeJoy of making changes that have caused “delivery delays” and damaged the Postal Service’s “credibility.”
“Congratulations, Mr. DeJoy,” Connolly said. “An esteemed institution that now is in doubt in the American public’s mind.”
Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., likewise said DeJoy is “deliberately dismantling this once-proud institution.”
DeJoy said all of the changes he has made at the Postal Service are part of an effort to run trucks “on time.”
In response to Rep. Virginia Foxx’s, R-N.C, question about the “consistent use of unplanned overtime,” he said it costs “substantial amounts of money” and leads to “delays in mail” and “inequilibrium in our production processes across the whole network.”
Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., said DeJoy’s appearance at the House hearing has nothing to do with the Postal Service and everything to do with his private support for the president, which has made him a “target.”
“Today, Mr. DeJoy will be viciously attacked with pre-packaged questions and false accusations, one member even suggesting impeachment. That’s original,” Walker said. “How sad is it when the cancel culture has reached the halls of Congress?”
To prove Walker’s point, Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., who threatened to arrest DeJoy last week, attacked him for his role in Trump’s 2016 election as a fundraiser.
Democratic Congressman Jim Cooper asks DeJoy if his “backup plan is to be pardoned like Roger Stone”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 24, 2020
“Did you pay back several of your top executives for contributing to Trump’s campaign by bonusing or rewarding them?” Cooper asked.
“That’s an outrageous claim, sir, and I resent it,” DeJoy said. “The answer is no.”
“During the Trump campaign I wasn’t even working at my company anymore,” he added. “I resent the assertion, sir, what are you accusing me of?”
“Am I the only one in this room that understands that we have a $10 billion per year loss?” DeJoy asked.
At Cooper’s request, he said he would provide his communications with officials who work for the Trump administration.
“Is your backup plan to be pardoned like Roger Stone?” Cooper asked, to audible moans from those present.
“I have no comment on that,” DeJoy said, laughing. “It’s not worth the comment.”
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, pointed out that elections results have been delayed across the country, in the Iowa Democratic caucuses as well as New York and New Jersey’s primary elections, before DeJoy’s tenure.
Was it the Postal Service’s fault:
-That it took New York six weeks to count votes in their Democratic primary? No.
That New Jersey was still counting ballots four weeks after their primary? No.
That it took the Democrats a month to figure out who won the Iowa Caucuses? No. pic.twitter.com/aqZwz8mAZ9
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) August 24, 2020