Subcommittee Chairman Connolly Reiterates Demand for Access to Postal Facilities for Members of Congress
Washington, D.C. (Oct 22, 2020)—Today, Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy reiterating his demand for access for himself and all Members of Congress for postal facilities.
“I write to reiterate my request for immediate access to the Postal Distribution Center in Merrifield, Virginia—as well as access for my Congressional colleagues to other postal facilities,” Subcommittee Chairman Connolly wrote. “Oversight of Postal Service operations is more important now than ever, particularly in light of the troubling findings of the Inspector General that actions taken by Postal Service officials slowed postal operations nationwide in the midst of a global pandemic and economic collapse.”
Postmaster General DeJoy has baselessly cited the Hatch Act to deny requests from Members of Congress to visit Postal Service facilities within 45 days of an election, including an October 2, 2020, request from Chairman Connolly to have access to a facility in his Congressional District.
The Office of Special Counsel, the agency vested with responsibility to enforce the Hatch Act, wrote a letter to Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney and Subcommittee Chairman Connolly on October 13, 2020 re-stating emphatically that the Hatch Act should not be used to prevent Members of Congress from executing their oversight responsibilities through tours or other constitutionally required actions.
Postmaster General DeJoy’s invocation of concern about inappropriate political activity by Members of Congress fulfilling their oversight responsibilities—and among postal service employees themselves—is particularly misplaced given his own actions on behalf of President Trump and the actions of the Chairman of the Postal Service Board of Governors, Robert M. Duncan, who continues to serve on a Republican SuperPAC and appeared in a video at the Republican National Convention chanting “four more years.”
“It is the height of hypocrisy that you and other Trump mega-donors are now engaged in an active campaign to politicize the Postal Service while using the Hatch Act—the law that seeks to prevent inappropriate political activity—to block legitimate oversight by your Committee of jurisdiction over your disastrous operational failures that are resulting in the degradation of postal services nationwide,” Subcommittee Chairman Connolly added.
Click here to read today’s letter.