Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is being confronted about his planned operational changes at the U.S. Postal Service and whether his political affiliation has played a role in any of those decisions.
Appearing before the House Oversight Committee on Monday, DeJoy was pressed on a series of reforms he has implemented during his tenure.
Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) shared examples he has seen of prolonged delays in mail delivery. One example he shared came from a constituent who said it took 12-days for her letter to reach a Social Security office that was 20 miles away.
Another example cited a local, new story that found that Postal Service trucks were “being forced to leave on schedule even when completely empty.”
“Imagine it, 53-foot trucks forced to travel hundreds of miles completely empty due to your so-called reforms… That’s not efficiency. That’s insanity,” he said.
He went on to claim, “For anyone thinking of voting absentee, the effect of your policies is to unilaterally move up election day from November 3rd to something like October 27th, and if you force more empty trucks on the highway, you will be able to single-handedly move up election day even earlier.”
Watch the exchange below:
— CSPAN (@cspan) August 24, 2020
Cooper went on to reference an NPR story that found that more than 500,000 absentee ballots have been invalidated for late delivery, and ripped into DeJoy, “How dare you disenfranchise so many voters when you told the Senate committee last week that you had a sacred duty to protect election mail.”
Additionally, he noted that, “A postal employee can be fined or imprisoned for up to five years for delaying the mail,” and claimed that DeJoy “can get away with” delaying mail.
He asked, “Mr. DeJoy, do you have a duty to obey U.S. Law like every other American?”
“I do, sir,” DeJoy responded.
Cooper proceeded to press DeJoy on whether he “paid back several of your top executives for contributing to Trump’s campaign by bonusing or rewarding them.”
“That’s an outrageous claim, sir, and I resent it,” DeJoy shot back. “The answer is no.” He also noted that during his time on President Donald Trump’s campaign, he was not affiliated with his company.
Cooper then asked, “Do your mail delays fit Trump’s campaign goal of hurting the Post Office as stated in his tweets? Are your mail delays implicit campaign contributions?”
DeJoy fired back and ripped into lawmakers over their line of questioning:
“I’m not here to answer these types of questions. I’m here to represent the Postal Service… All my actions have to do with improvements of the Postal Service. Am I the only one in this room that understands that we have a $10 billion a year loss?”
Finally, Cooper asked, “Mr. DeJoy, is your back-up plan to be pardoned like Roger Stone?”
DeJoy let out a laugh and said, “I have no comment on that. It’s not worth a comment.”
Cooper was referring to Trump’s pardon of his former adviser Roger Stone who was convicted on charges of lying to Congress, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering.
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