One week after Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testified before a House Oversight Committee on Capitol Hill, there remain suspicions on whether voters and those who receive prescription medication through the mail can trust the U.S. Postal Service.
“It remains to be seen,” Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) said. “We made sure that the American people had the facts before them because the Postal Service is the only service enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, and this [controversy] has happened under Donald Trump’s attempt to dismantle democracy as we know it and move forth his agenda.”
DeJoy’s leadership has received sharp criticism from Democrats and included some Republicans’ rebukes because of widespread reports of a slowdown in mail delivery.
President Trump has publicly stated his disdain for the postal service. His administration has withheld critical funds from the agency despite legislation that passed the House and the Senate supporting a cash infusion to the Post Office.
Trump opposes mail-in voting but that didn’t stop him and first lady Melania Trump from mailing in their recent Florida election ballots.
While DeJoy promised to comply with lawmakers’ demands not to slow delivery of mail and not to put in place measures that undermine the postal service, House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney blasted him during the hearings.
“You can expect a subpoena if you withhold information from this committee,” Maloney, the New York Democrat, warned. “You’re withholding information from us, concealing documents and downplaying the damage that you’re causing.”
She added that DeJoy probably should be replaced.
“I can’t imagine why he would be kept on,” she said.
DeJoy claimed that reports critical of his actions as postmaster general have greatly been exaggerated.
“There are many inaccuracies,” he stated, noting that he did not direct the removal of mail collection boxes and didn’t cut back workers’ hours.
“I did, however, suspend these practices to remove any misperceptions about our commitment to delivering the nation’s election mail,” DeJoy claimed. “Any further assertions by the media or elected officials are furthering a false narrative to the American people.”
Clarke said lawmakers put a lot of pressure on DeJoy and have exposed the postmaster general’s dereliction of duty and the unprecedented collaboration with Trump.
“Donald Trump has tried to undermine our mail system for the purpose of discouraging individuals from voting by mail,” Clarke stated. “This has implications for veterans and seniors. This dismantling of the postal service was intentional. There is a cease and desist order that DeJoy admitted but we need to see the apparatus put back in place so that people can vote safely and our seniors can get their medication.”
Clark continued: “Will that be the case? We are getting a lot of pushback and Donald Trump is on the campaign trail already trying to delegitimize the election if mail-in ballots are allowed. It’s all to cause voter suppression.”