WASHINGTON, D.C. — The head of the U.S. Postal Service faced sharp criticism on Capitol Hill Monday from a Democrat-led House committee about changes made to the agency and its impact on mail-in ballots.
This followed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s testimony Friday before a Senate committee, led by Republicans.
Monday’s hearing was more contentious compared to Friday, with Democrats accusing DeJoy of causing the Postal Service to crumble in the nine weeks since he was put on the job.
“After 240 years of patriotic service of delivering the mail, how can one person screw this up in just a few weeks?” Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Massachusetts) said.
DeJoy again insisted the agency can properly process the expected influx of mail-in ballots.
“We will be able to handle all election mail for the 2020 election,” DeJoy said.
Lawmakers questioned DeJoy about reports of widespread delays that have affected the delivery of medications and other mail.
“This is just a disaster for the people who need their mail. Don’t you agree?” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) asked DeJoy.
“We are very concerned with the deterioration in service and are working very diligently,” DeJoy responded. “In fact, we’re seeing a big recovery this week.”
DeJoy came under fire for removing some mail sorting machines.
He has since halted the removal moving forward but said he had no plans to replace the ones that have already been taken.
That move led to a heated moment between DeJoy and Lynch that involved the two speaking over each other.
“Will you put the high-speed machines back?” Lynch asked.
“No I will not,” DeJoy said.
“You will not?” Lynch fired back.
“Will not,” DeJoy said.
“Well, there you go,” Lynch replied.
DeJoy once again pointed to a budget shortfall as the reason for the operational changes.
"Am I the only one in this room that understands that we have a $10 billion dollar a year loss?" DeJoy said.
Despite harsh criticism from Democrats, Republicans defended DeJoy’s Postal Service changes and shot down claims about efforts to sabotage the elections.
“I want to applaud your approach for accountability,” Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-North Carolina) said.
“This is one giant conspiracy from the Democrats,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said about the election impact claims.
The House passed a bill over the weekend to block changes to the Postal Service before the election but it’s not expected to get the Republican support needed to pass in the Senate.
Cox Media Group