Democrats are demanding USPS leaders testify before Congress at an 'urgent hearing' next week

Democrats are demanding USPS leaders testify before Congress at an 'urgent hearing' next week

August 16, 2020
  • Prominent Democrats released a joint statement on Sunday, calling for the postmaster general and chairman of the USPS Board of Governors to testify before the House Oversight Committee on August 24.
  • President Donald Trump last week said he would not support a bailout of the USPS in an attempt to sabotage mail-in-voting expansion efforts, although he later backtracked and said he wouldn't reject a bill that included aid to the postal service.  
  • The already cash-strapped agency has struggled further due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the new postmaster general has implemented cost-cutting measures that have slowed USPS delivery in some parts of the country. 
  • "The Postmaster General and top Postal Service leadership must answer to the Congress and the American people as to why they are pushing these dangerous new policies that threaten to silence the voices of millions, just months before the election," Democrats said in a joint statement. 
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In a joint statement on Sunday, prominent Democrats in the House and Senate announced amped up investigations into recent controversies surrounding the postal service, requesting that officials of the USPS testify before the House Oversight Committee on August 24 at an "urgent" hearing.  

The presence of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and Robert Duncan, the chairman of the USPS Board of Directors were requested for an August 24 hearing, according to a statement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, and Senate Committee on Homeland Security Ranking Member Gary Peters.

"The hearing will examine the sweeping operational and organizational changes at the Postal Service that experts warn could degrade delivery standards, slow the mail and potentially impair the rights of eligible Americans to cast their votes through the mail in the upcoming November elections," the Sunday statement read.

The statement said DeJoy and other USPS leaders "must answer to the Congress and the American people as to why they are pushing these dangerous new policies that threaten to silence the voices of millions, just months before the election."

Senate Democrats called on Republicans to request USPS leaders testify before the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee

The Senate Democrats who signed on to the letter called on Sen. Ron Johnson, the Republican chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to also hold a hearing with DeJoy and Duncan "as soon as next week."  

"As the Chairman of the Committee charged with oversight of the Postal Service, Senator Johnson must ensure that the Senate holds the new Postmaster General accountable for the destructive changes he has directed that are undermining this crucial public service and pillar of democracy that Americans in every corner of our country count on," the letter read.

On Friday, Democratic lawmakers sent a 10-page letter to DeJoy, requiring he provide a host of documents related to the "policies and practices, the specific changes you are proposing, the rationale for those changes, and the potential impacts of those changes" by August 21.

DeJoy, a former donor to Republicans, including President Donald Trump, was appointed postmaster general by the USPS Board of Governors earlier this year. Since assuming the position, DeJoy has instituted a number of cost-cutting measures, including the elimination of overtime and the reassigning or displacing of 23 postal service executives. The changes have reportedly already resulted in delays to mail delivery in some parts of the country. 

Yearslong financial struggles of the USPS have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, creating concerns that the postal system will struggle to handle a surge of mail-in ballots expected in the fall.

President Donald Trump made headlines last week for suggesting he was intentionally withholding funding to bail out USPS in an attempt to sabotage mail-in voting, though he later backtracked and said he would support a bill that had funds allocated to the postal service. At a news conference  Saturday, Trump defended DeJoy's leadership.

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