Postmaster General Louis DeJoy was defiant Friday when meeting with a Senate oversight committee to answer questions about a Democratic conspiracy theory that he is working in conjunction with President Donald Trump to weaponize the U.S. Postal Service against mail-in voting.
DeJoy joined senators remotely to testify about postal procedures and whether mail-in ballots sent through the post office for the Nov. 3 election will be delivered on time.
But asked about a theory the USPS has been weaponized against mail-in voting, DeJoy did not appear eager to entertain wild theories about the role of the mail in the election.
“The insinuation is, quite frankly, outrageous,” DeJoy told the Senate panel.
“I’m one new person in the organization, with a whole structure around me,” he said.
DeJoy said the “Postal Service will deliver every ballot and process every ballot in time that it receives.”
Postmaster General DeJoy today pushed back on the idea that his proposed changes to the USPS are intended to suppress mail-in voting for the upcoming election, calling it a “false and unfair” narrative and an “outrageous claim” https://t.co/aqv6h78Zr1 pic.twitter.com/1pQ0hncPKO
— POLITICO (@politico) August 21, 2020
In one exchange with Democratic Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan, DeJoy said he has not discussed USPS business with the president since he accepted the position as postmaster general.
House Democrats are scheduled to pass legislation to offer $25 billion in funding to the deeply indebted Postal Service next week.
Democrats will also use the legislation to prevent DeJoy from implementing any changes to service for the foreseeable future amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Washington Times reported the USPS is expected to lose $9 billion in 2020.
DeJoy, who was appointed by Trump, also told senators he supports mail-in voting, but he warned that without USPS reforms, “losses will only increase in the years to come.”
The postmaster general also defended a recent letter sent to 46 states from the Postal Service’s general counsel warning that mail-in ballots sent out too close to the November election might not be postmarked in time to be counted.
“This was a very, very well-thought-out effort to safeguard the election and the processing of ballots, not to get in the way,” he told lawmakers.
“The general word around here is, ‘Vote early,’” he said.
DeJoy has already postponed reforms for the Postal Service that were intended to streamline operations.
These included issues such as dealing with overtime pay and shutting down a number of mail sorting machines.
DeJoy said this week he would halt those moves temporarily to avoid any perception that the USPS is getting involved in electioneering.
“We are working here feverishly to get the system running at stability and also to hire more workers to handle the delivery process,” DeJoy said, according to The Times.
“We all feel bad about the dip in our service,” he said.
DeJoy has only been on the job since June 16 and inherited a mess with regard to Postal Service operations.
The USPS has lost $70 billion since 2009.
CNN reported that attorneys general from 20 Democrat-run states have filed lawsuits to halt any planned reforms of the USPS until after the election.
The lawsuits were based on a conspiracy theory that DeJoy will undermine mail-in ballots on behalf of the Trump administration.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson of Washington state said DeJoy “acted outside of his authority to implement changes to the postal system, and did not follow the proper procedures under federal law.”
Any reforms planned to help the USPS stop hemorrhaging money will have to wait until after Nov. 3.
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri insisted in a tweet Friday that DeJoy was only called to testify by Democrats who operate out of “hysteria.”
Another round of absurd Democrat hysteria debunked. Postmaster Louis DeJoy testifies USPS has the money, the manpower, and the resources to deliver the mail safely and on time for the November election. In fact, USPS currently has most cash on hand in its history, approx $15 b https://t.co/Xpgy3ADzPm
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) August 21, 2020
“Another round of absurd Democrat hysteria debunked,” Hawley said. “Postmaster Louis DeJoy testifies USPS has the money, the manpower, and the resources to deliver the mail safely and on time for the November election. In fact, USPS currently has most cash on hand in its history, approx $15 b.”
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