- US Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said he would bring back some cost-cutting measures after the election, during his testimony in from of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee on Monday.
- Cost-cutting measures such as removing hundreds of high-volume mail-sorting machines across the country, the removal of some mail collection boxes, canceling overtime for mail carriers, and cutting post office hours have been criticized for delaying mail.
- States were concerned that the delays would impact mail-in-ballots for the November election.
- Several Democrats have called for DeJoy’s resignation.
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US Postmaster General Louis DeJoy told the House of Representatives Oversight Committee he would bring back some cost-cutting measures that have been criticized for contributing to delivery delays after the election, Reuters reported.
DeJoy spoke to the committee on Monday and offered two specific initiatives he would enact – “creating our new on-time transportation network and designing an engaged functional organizational structure.”
DeJoy and the US Post Office have been scrutinized for several recent measures to reduce costs, including removing hundreds of high-volume mail-sorting machines across the country, along with the removal of some mail collection boxes, canceling overtime for mail carriers, and cutting post office hours, Business Insider previously reported.
CNN reported that DeJoy said he won’t bring back mail-sorting machines that were removed from service. He’s claimed that the change was routine and a response to the change in mail volume and that the measure was underway before he became the postmaster.
The postmaster general also claimed that he didn’t order the removal of collection boxes but said he suspended their removal to avoid the perception that the decision was in any way politically motivated.
I did, however, suspend these practices to remove any misperceptions about our commitment to delivering the nation’s election mail,” DeJoy said according to CNN. “Any further assertions by the media or elected officials is furthering a false narrative to the American people.”
Much of the concern over the cost-cutting measures was prompted by reports sent to 46 states and Washington DC saying that it would be hard for the USPS to guarantee that ballots would be delivered in time to be counted in the upcoming election. Lawmakers also expressed apprehensions that older Americans who rely on mailed medication would see delays in delivery.
During his hearing, DeJoy attempted to reassure the committee that the delays would not affect ballots at a time when around half of voters could vote by mail.
While DeJoy told the committee he wants to bring some of the cost-cutting measures back, Democrats are hoping to stop his efforts until at least January.
On Saturday, the House voted to provide $25 billion in funds to the USPS, though that legislation will likely fail in the Senate.
President Trump has also said he would veto it and the Postal Service also opposes that legislation, according to Reuters.
Some have accused DeJoy, who has donated $2.7 million to President Donald Trump and other Republicans since 2016, of political interference, especially after Trump falsely suggested that mail-in-voting allows for fraud and benefits Democrats.