The House Oversight Committee on Sunday demanded that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testify at an “urgent” congressional hearing on Aug. 24 in light of growing concerns that cutting funding to the U.S. Postal Service will hamper mail-in voting in the November election.
Since June, DeJoy — a former Republican mega-donor who was appointed in May — has made cost-cutting policy changes that critics say are causing delays to election mail as well as the critical delivery of medicine to rural areas.
Over the weekend, the U.S. Postal Service warned states that it cannot guarantee all mail-in ballots for the November election will arrive in time to be counted, regardless of whether the ballots are mailed by state deadlines.
The USPS’ warning came as Trump repeatedly asserts his baseless claim that mail-in voting leads to voter fraud. In an interview on Fox Business on Thursday, President Trump said that he opposed Democrats’ efforts to allocate $25 billion in coronavirus relief to fund USPS because it would help mail-in voting.
In a letter written by committee chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) to DeJoy on Sunday, Maloney wrote that there have been “starting new revelations” regarding DeJoy’s postal service overhaul.
“Over the past several weeks, there have been startling new revelations about the scope and gravity of operational changes you are implementing at hundreds of postal facilities without consulting adequately with Congress, the Postal Regulatory Commission, or the Board of Governors,” Maloney wrote.
Maloney then added that DeJoy’s testimony is “particularly urgent” due to “troubling” reports of delays at postal facilities nationwide, in addition to the President explicitly admitting that he’s holding up emergency funds for the USPS to hamper mail-in voting.
Maloney concluded that she pushed up the hearing, which was originally scheduled for mid-September, to Aug. 24 in light of recent reports.
In a statement on Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) demanded testimony from both DeJoy and Robert Duncan, the chairman of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors.
Pelosi and Schumer noted how the President has “explicitly stated his intention to manipulate the Postal Service” in calling for DeJoy and top Postal Service leadership to “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.”
The House Oversight’s hearing announcement came on the heels of Democratic leaders sending a letter to DeJoy, which demanded that he provide answers about the overhaul he implemented at post offices nationwide. Democrats set Aug. 21 as the deadline for DeJoy to produce “key documents and information” regarding the overhaul.
Calls for DeJoy to testify also come amid the House being on recess until mid-September. However, Pelosi is reportedly considering cutting the recess short to address the unfurling crisis surrounding the USPS.
Read Maloney’s letter to DeJoy below: