Maloney Introduces Bill to Counter President’s Politicization of the Postal Service
Washington, D.C. (Aug. 25, 2020)— Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, introduced the Nonpartisan Postmaster General Act in response to President Trump’s politicization of the U.S. Postal Service. Her bill comes in the wake of testimony yesterday from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the Chairman of the Postal Service Board of Governors, Robert M. Duncan, highlighting their partisan campaign activities, extensive fundraising, and political donations of millions of dollars to GOP candidates and causes, as well as some political activities that continue even now.
The bill would prohibit the Postal Service Board of Governors, the Postmaster General, and the Deputy Postmaster General from holding any political position while in office, as well as restricting nominees for Postmaster General and Deputy Postmaster General to those who have not engaged in political activities in the four years prior to their appointments—ensuring that these positions are filled by qualified experts rather than political operatives.
“Congress passed a law in 1970 to reform the Postal Service and ensure that it is independent and removed from politics, but President Trump has turned that law on its head,” Chairwoman Maloney stated. “He installed a GOP partisan as Chairman of the Board of Governors, who turned around and inserted his fellow Republican fundraiser as Postmaster General. As we heard at our hearing yesterday, both of these officials are longtime Republican operatives, fundraisers, and mega-donors, and they are overt about their efforts to help Donald Trump win in November. In so many areas, including the Postal Service, the Census Bureau, and the Justice Department, President Trump is fundamentally degrading the longstanding independence of our core constitutional functions to his own political ends right before our eyes.”
Fifty years ago, President Richard Nixon signed into law the Postal Reorganization Act to reform the Postal Service and ensure that it is “an independent establishment of the executive branch of the Government of the United States.” In addition, the Postal Service website has a 150-page report entitled, “The United States Postal Service: An American History,” which describes the goal of the 1970 law as “the removal of the system from politics.” However, during yesterday’s hearing, the Committee learned how President Donald Trump has contravened this law by installing Duncan, a longtime Republican fundraiser, into the position of Board Chairman in August 2018, and how Duncan then inserted his fellow Republican mega-donor, DeJoy, as Postmaster General earlier this year.
Robert M. Duncan
Yesterday, within hours of testifying before the Committee in his role as Board Chairman, Duncan appeared in a prerecorded video shown at the Republican National Convention in an effort to help President Trump get re-elected.
In addition, Duncan’s official biography on the Postal Service’s government website boasts about his fundraising prowess for partisan Republican causes: “Outside of government service, he served as Chairman of the Republican National Committee from 2007 to 2009. As RNC Chairman, he raised an unprecedented $428 million and grew the donor base to 1.8 million—more donors than at any time in RNC history.”
Under questioning by Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Duncan attempted to disclaim his previous Republican fundraising letters in which he stated that the “Obama-Biden Democrats and their liberal special interest allies are trying to steal their election victories from Republicans” and stated that “Democrats will soon be trying to pad their totals at ballot boxes across the country, with votes from voters that do not exist.”
Duncan is currently serving on two Republican super-PACs at the same time he is overseeing the Postal Service: American Crossroads and the Republican Senate Leadership Fund. He had this exchange with Rep. Jackie Speier:
Speier: Mr. Duncan, you have also been active in President Trump’s campaign and as a director of American crossroads, super PAC, is that correct?
Duncan: I am the director of American crossroads super PAC, yes.
Speier: And you’ve contributed over $1.9 million to President Trump’s campaign.
Duncan: That’s not correct.
Speier: Not you personally, but the PAC?
Duncan: I don’t know the answer to that.
Speier: The records show that. So your both vested in making sure that the president gets reelected, is that correct?
DeJoy: I’m not here to talk about—
Duncan: That’s correct.
DeJoy: —the president’s election. I’m here to talk about postal service issues.
DeJoy, who held a fundraiser for President Trump in March of this year just prior to his selection, acknowledged yesterday that he is a prolific donor to multiple Republicans.
Under questioning from Rep. Peter Welch, DeJoy admitted he has donated $3.2 million dollars to Republican candidates and committees since 2016, including $1.3 million to the Republican National Committee and $1.2 million to President Trump’s victory fund.
He also admitted that he was serving as Chairman of the GOP fundraising committee for this week’s Republican convention when he was chosen as Postmaster General and held that position until three days before taking office.
DeJoy’s admissions followed last week’s revelations from former Inspector General and Board of Governors Vice President David Williams, who told Members of Congress: “I resigned from the Board of Governors because I was convinced that its independent role had been marginalized and that representations regarding an independent postal service for the nation were no longer truthful. I felt that the public was owed the truth in this matter.”
It also follows a warning from David Fineman, a former Chairman of the Postal Service Board of Governors, who called the Administration’s interference with respect to the Postal Service “absolutely unprecedented.”
Click here to read the bill.