DeJoy Admits That Mail Delays Are Far Worse Than Expected, But Fails to Take Responsibility
Washington, D.C. (Aug. 24, 2020)—At a hearing today before the Committee on Oversight and Reform, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy admitted that massive delays in mail, medications, and other critical supplies caused by his sweeping changes are far worse than he anticipated or previously disclosed to Congress and the American people, finally conceding: “We are very concerned with the deterioration in service.”
Committee Members obtained a number of commitments from DeJoy, but reserved the option of issuing a subpoena if he continues withholding information.
- Potential Subpoena for Withheld Documents: After obtaining internal Postal Service documents showing delays far worse than the Postmaster General previously acknowledged, Chairwoman Maloney gave DeJoy a deadline of this Wednesday to produce a range of other documents he has been withholding from Congress, warning that he can “expect a subpoena” if he continues to withhold this information.
- Reversal on Communications with Trump Campaign: Under questioning from Rep. Gerald Connolly, DeJoy reversed his Friday testimony before the Senate denying any communications with the Trump campaign, instead testifying: “I’ve spoken to people that are friends of mine that are associated with the campaign, yes.”
- Calendars and Conflicts: Under questioning from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DeJoy admitted communicating with employees and officials from his former company, XPO Logistics, and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez suggested that a subpoena would be warranted if DeJoy fails to produce his official calendars detailing meetings, calls, and other communications with XPO and others since becoming PMG.
- Denying Responsibility: When confronted by multiple Members about detailed reports of delays, DeJoy repeatedly denied responsibility or professed ignorance.
- On Why Delays of Days Turned Into Weeks: Under questioning by Vice Chairman Jimmy Gomez about why delays of days in mail delivery have turned into weeks, DeJoy responded, “I’m trying to figure that out.”
- On Why His Changes Caused Massive Delays: Under questioning from Rep. Lacy Clay about if he considered whether his changes would delay the delivery of critical medications, such as insulin, DeJoy responded, “I’m not the COO, I’m the CEO of the organization.”
- On Requests from Local Postal Managers to Reinstall Sorting Machines: Under questioning from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DeJoy testified that he has no way of knowing how many local postal managers have asked to reconnect sorting machines, testifying, “How would I know that?” When asked, “You’re in charge, you don’t know whether there are plant managers that have requested?” he responded, “No I don’t.”
- Board Chairman Simultaneously Serving on GOP Super PACs: Under questioning from Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Robert M. Duncan, the Chairman of the Postal Service Board of Governors, admitted that he still serves on the boards of both the Republican Senate Leadership Fund and American Crossroads while overseeing the Postal Service. Duncan’s official Postal Service biography boasts about his role as RNC Chairman, where “he raised an unprecedented $428 million and grew the donor base to 1.8 million—more donors than at any time in RNC history.”
- Overtime: Rep. Mike Quigley asked DeJoy: “Are you certain that no one was cutting back on overtime?” He replied: “No, I’m not certain, that’s part of the problem at the Postal Service, sir. That’s what I’m trying to get my hands around.” Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton asked DeJoy about who wrote an internal Postal Service document from July stating, “Overtime will be eliminated.” DeJoy responded, “I have purposefully not tried to find out who that was.” Congresswoman Norton was able to secure a commitment from DeJoy to relieve overtime restrictions in the weeks prior to the election.
- Substantial Nationwide Impact: Under questioning from Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett, DeJoy admitted that he has been engaged in a “transformative initiative” with nationwide impacts that have caused widespread delays across the country, yet he has refused to seek an advisory opinion from the Postal Regulatory Commission as required by statute.