Congress Sends Warning Letter To Louis DeJoy Over USPS Corruption

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The ex-president left a bloody trail of corruption when he installed an iffy character as postmaster general. The remarkable entity, our postal system, was founded in 1960. Although the USPS took body blow after body blow under the privatization-crazy Republicans, the United States Postal Service (USPS) remains standing. Now, the House is giving its postmaster general a body blow back.

The Oversight and Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy Friday. It referenced a number of concerns about a contract with Oshkosh Defense. The letter requested documents related to that transaction.

DeJoy signed a contract on behalf of the USPS to buy a maximum of 165,000 maximum fuel-efficient or electrical postal vehicles. Oshkosh Defense received the $482 million contract in February, according to The Bipartisan Report.

The USPS released a statement announcing that this was only the first segment of a multi-billion dollar 10-year decision to completely modernize its vehicles. The USPS noted that:

  • ‘Oshkosh Defense Will Finalize Design of Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV), Delivering Up to 165,000 of the U.S.-Built Vehicles Over the Next Decade
  • Investment is Part of Soon-to-be-Released, 10-Year Plan to Transform USPS Into the Preferred Delivery Service Provider for the American Public
  • Modernization to Reduce USPS Fleet’s Costs and Greenhouse Gas Emissions as Cleaner Technologies, such as Electric Powertrains, Power Carrier Routes
  • Video remarks from Postal Service officials on this major announcement are available on the USPS Newsroom’

Maloney said this contract came as a surprise and was part of the “highly secretive” agreements that descended upon this nation under the previous administration.

The committee chair was especially concerned that the fleet would not be fuel-efficient. If so, it would not fit within President Joe Biden’s environmental plan combatting climate change. Instead, she wrote that he was committed to all-electric vehicles.

Maloney indicated that Oshkosh had submitted a prototype that had a gasoline engine. Competitors’ prototypes for the contract included electric powertrains. The way Oshkosh worded its bid included “fuel efficient or contain electric powertrains.”

Maloney pointed to DeJoy’s testimony when he appeared before the Oversight Committee in February. At that time, he indicated that just 10 percent of the first order would include electric vehicles.

The chair was also concerned about a report from The Bloomberg News. It claimed that an unnamed individual or entity purchased $54.2 million worth of stock in Oshkosh, the night prior to the announcement of the USPS contract, which was highly suspicious.

Maloney insisted DeJoy provide the documents she requested by March 26:

‘These reports raise concerns about the Postal Service’s selection process and contract award for the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle program. A thorough review is warranted to ensure the award process is free from undue influence and potential interference.’

The committee chair supported Representative Jared Huffman’s (D-CA) bill that would allocate $6 billion for the USPS. However, that money could only be spent on a new fleet with 75 percent of its vehicles electric or zero-emissions.

Maloney and other Congressional leaders shared a letter with The Hill, where DeJoy wrote that the USPS could commit to having a majority electric delivery fleet within 10 years. He wrote that the USPS needed $8 billion to provide an all-electric fleet to the “maximum extent possible.”

Oshkosh’s competitor for the bid was Workhorse. The company manufactures trucks and its bid included an “all-electric” fleet, The New York Times reported.

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