Postmaster Dejoy Gets Owned By Democrats During Monday Hearing

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On Monday, the Democrat-led House Oversight Committee heard from the Trump-allied Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, whose recent policy and operations changes at the Postal Service have drawn heavy scrutiny for slowing down mail service with a short while until the general election, when many voters are expected to use mail-in ballots. At the hearing, Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) insisted that DeJoy would get a subpoena if he didn’t produce documents that the oversight panel had recently demanded.

As the hearing continued, Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) was among those who took DeJoy to task. Lynch claimed, addressing DeJoy directly:

‘In the middle of a pandemic that’s killed 170,000 Americans and on the eve of a national election… the Postal Service started to remove 671 high-speed mail sorting machines across the country. You stopped the APWU from sorting the mail and stopped national letter carriers and mail handlers from working overtime to deliver the mail and for the first time in 240 years in our history of the United States Postal Service, you sent out a letter embarrassingly in July to 46 states that said the post office can’t guarantee that we can deliver the mail in time for the elections in November, and we have reports from across the country as you acknowledge service has been delayed and the mail is piling up. You have ended a once proud tradition.’

The hearing came just days after DeJoy appeared before the GOP-led Senate Homeland Security Committee, but DeJoy’s own recent history of facing questions from Republicans too didn’t stop GOP members of the Oversight Committee from melting down as Monday’s hearing got underway. Rep. James Comer (Ky.), for instance, who’s the committee’s top Republican, ranted that the hearing was part of a “political stunt.”

He claimed:

‘Democrats fabricated a baseless conspiracy theory about the Postal Service and hastily passed a bill Saturday before hearing from you, Mr. DeJoy. The bill had no prior committee action to vet the bill – no hearings, no markup. Because of this rushed process, the bill was significantly amended by the Democrats before it went to the Rules Committee. It then proceeded to the House Floor under a process that prevented any amendments to improve the bill. There was no Republican input – not at any step in the process.’

The bill that Comer is referring to is the Delivering for America Act, which would provide $25 billion in cash assistance to the Postal Service — which the entirely Trump-appointed Board of Governors has previously specifically requested — and would ban major service-affecting operations changes at the agency for the near future. It’s not only election-related mail that stands to be negatively impacted by mail slowdowns — some people’s critical medication comes through the mail.

Still, Comer ranted:

‘This chain of events shows Democrats are not serious about meaningful reform. The President doesn’t support the bill, the Postal Service doesn’t support the bill, and the Senate isn’t likely to act on the bill. This is a political stunt.’

Fellow Republican committee member Rep. Mark Walker subsequently chimed in with his own even more fervent ranting against Dems. Introducing DeJoy, he said:

‘Today, Mr. DeJoy will be viciously attacked with prepackaged questions and false accusations… how sad is it when the cancel culture has reached the halls of Congress? He’s here today because he supported President Trump, and with this Congress, that makes you a target.’

The real question is how sad is it when a member of Congress resorts to pointless culture war-style rhetoric when confronted with even the slightest scrutiny of their political position. No, the scrutiny of the Postal Service is not some kind of conspiracy to make Trump look bad! It’s an effort to ensure that critical items don’t get kept from the people who need them thanks to misguided efforts at securing some vague notion of efficiency.

If DeJoy was really serious about improving the Postal Service’s financial state, then he could advocate for the repeal of a 2006 law that demanded the agency pre-fund health benefits for retirees. CNN says that a “CNN analysis of USPS financial records finds the losses are primarily due to a 2006 law that forces the USPS to pre-fund all retiree health care costs… If USPS didn’t have to pre-fund these benefits, its finances would be radically different.”