Postmaster General Louis DeJoy Combative Under House Democrats’ Questioning: ‘Get Used To Me!’
In a House hearing on Wednesday, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy admitted that the Postal Service has “persistent problems” and that the agency “fell far short of meeting out service targets” during 2020.
DeJoy, an ally and donor to former President Donald Trump, was appointed in May 2020 and stirred outrage from Postal workers and Democrats alike when he ordered mass-removal of mail sorting machines nationwide and severely cut overtime for employees during the pandemic.
When questioned by the House Oversight Committee, DeJoy stood by his controversial measures telling Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tennessee) that he would maintain his position for “a long time. Get used to me.”
DeJoy was also criticized for downsizing postal operations and the delays that came afterward. “We need to frankly confront the problems we face, be candid and realistic about the magnitude of the solutions we require, and embrace the few, crucial, elements of legislative help we need from the Congress,” said DeJoy to the committee.
Following nominations by President Joe Biden, the Postal Service Board of Governors, which has not been fully seated since 2012, will be filling all vacancies. DeJoy power is limited by the will of the governors, which are likely to disagree with his controversial stances for the agency. The three longtime vacancies will be filled by Anton Hajjar, the former general counsel for the American Postal Workers Union, Ron Stroman, the former deputy postmaster general, and Amber McReynolds, CEO of Vote at Home, a group who heavily supported voting by mail during the 2020 election.
“Many people – across the country and on this panel – have grave concerns. And recent events have aggravated them,” said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-New York). Maloney continued that DeJoy “did not adequately assess the impacts of his changes on service, and he did not adequately consult with Congress and others before he did so.”
“I’m just asking you to do your job,” said Rep. Rashida Tlaib, (D-Michigan) after confronting DeJoy about crippling downsizing of the Detroit branch of the USPS. “How is there common sense behind changing an organization in the middle of a pandemic? That is a lack of management. You haven’t shown leadership and now you’d like to rip [The USPS] apart.”