DeJoy Announces He Will Pause USPS Overhaul Until After Election

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy departs from a meeting with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark ... Postmaster General Louis DeJoy departs from a meeting with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in the Capitol on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) MORE LESS

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced Tuesday, days before a slate of congressional hearings, that he will postpone the USPS overhaul until after the November election “to avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail.”

He said that, for now, approval of overtime hours for postal workers will continue “as needed,” and that mail processing equipment will be untouched and centers left open.

“In addition, effective Oct. 1, we will engage standby resources in all areas of our operations, including transportation, to satisfy any unforeseen demand,” he said.

The announcement comes as DeJoy was staring down the barrel of back-to-back hearings before outraged Democrats, Friday in the Senate and Monday in the House. It also comes on the heels of reporting that multiple states were poised to sue DeJoy for the restructuring, arguing that it would threaten their ability to hold “free and fair elections.”

DeJoy, a Republican mega-donor and ally of the President’s who started the job in June, laid out a comprehensive plan that would cut employees’ hours and remove processing machines, among other changes. Then at the end of July and reported late last week, the USPS sent letters to 46 states and Washington D.C. warning them that it may be unable to turn ballots around fast enough for them to be counted.

The warning came as the USPS was already facing critical financial shortages, and months before a national election dependent on voting by mail given the COVID-19 pandemic.

Democrats, and some Republicans, quickly raised the alarm, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) recalled her members back to Washington to vote on funding for the USPS on Saturday. DeJoy was called to testify before Congress, and a slew of Democrats requested documents from him related to the agency changes.

On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), ranking member on a key Senate committee, called the overhaul a malicious attempt to cast doubt on the election.

“I called DeJoy three times and he didn’t even answer,” Schumer said on a press call. “Only when I said we’re not gonna keep negotiating with Mnuchin and Meadows did DeJoy come before us. It was clear to us in the room that DeJoy was intent on dismantling the postal service brick by brick.”

“So far, he has not been forthcoming,” added Peters. “It has been difficult to get him to answer questions.”

Read DeJoy’s full statement here.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriter:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: