As US postmaster testifies to Congress, states sue over mail delays

Credit: REUTERS

Six states, including North Carolina, sued the Postal Service and the U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Friday, alleging that recent operational and service changes have harmed the ability of states to conduct free and fair elections.

On the same day, DeJoy testified before a Senate committee about the operation and integrity of the Postal Service as mail delays are happening nationwide.

Amid fears of the Trump administration attempting to disenfranchise millions of American voters, the House Democrats approved legislation on Saturday that would repeal the recent postal changes and invest $25 billion in the agency.

The Republican-led Senate has no plans to vote on the measure, while Trump has threatened to veto the legislation.

From CNN:

DeJoy defended his performance as postmaster general during a heated hearing before the House Oversight Committee on Monday, downplaying the changes he made and saying he was focused on stopping the Postal Service’s money-losing ways.

But DeJoy faced pointed questions from Democrats, along with attacks over his role as a finance official in the Republican National Committee and a major donor to President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly attacked mail-in voting.

House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney accused DeJoy of withholding information from Congress, threatening a subpoena, and suggested if a corporate CEO had his “plummeting record” they would be removed. Rep. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts launched into a lengthy speech attacking DeJoy before pressing him to return mail-sorting machines that had been removed.

“I will not,” DeJoy responded.

DeJoy testified before the GOP-led Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Friday, where he was pressed by Democrats and Republicans
alike about delays in the mail that lawmakers have heard about across the country. He faced a far more hostile reception in the House, where 90 Democrats called for DeJoy’s removal last week, including many committee members.

Multiple Democrats called on DeJoy to resign or be removed by the USPS Board of Governors at the conclusion of their five minutes to question DeJoy.

“This is just a disaster for the people who need their mail,” said Maloney, a New York Democrat.

DeJoy, a Trump ally and GOP donor, has made several operational changes since taking over the postmaster general role that has resulted in longer delays in delivery of letters and packages.

DeJoy also imposed cuts in retail hours, removal of sorting machines and mailboxes, which have raised concerns that the policies could impact the November election.

Not only is the Trump administration attempting to undermine the nation’s ability to vote by mail through cost-cutting measures within the Postal Service, Trump has pledged to send law enforcement officials to polling locations — yet another example of voter intimidation.

In what Republican officials are calling the “largest poll-watching operation”, the Trump administration is trying to suppress voters in key states —  despite federal law prohibiting intimidation at the polls and making it illegal for any “civil” or “military” federal officer to order “troops or armed men” to polling places.

Bottom Line: In a last ditch effort to stay in power, the Trump Administration is using every tool to block eligible voters from participating in their constitutional right to vote.

Alanna Joyner

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