The Democratic-run House on Sunday demanded that leaders of the US Postal Service testify at an emergency oversight hearing Aug. 24 on mail delays, as concerns grow that the Trump White House is trying to undermine the agency during the coronavirus pandemic while states expand mail-in voting options for the November presidential election, the AP reports. The House Oversight and Reform Committee said it wants to hear from new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and from the chair of the Postal Service board of governors, Robert "Mike" Duncan. With heightened scrutiny of its operations, the agency is now requesting a temporary preelection rate increase, from mid-October through Christmas, although not for first-class letters.
The agency did not immediately respond to requests for comment about whether the two men would appear before the House committee. But it said Sunday it would stop removing its distinctive blue mailboxes through mid-November following complaints from customers and members of Congress that the collection boxes were being taken away. The announcement comes as pressure increases on DeJoy, a major Republican donor and ally of the president who took control of the agency in June. DeJoy has pledged to modernize the money-losing agency to make it more efficient. Trump said last week that he was blocking a $25 billion emergency injection sought by the Postal Service, as well as a Democratic proposal to provide $3.6 billion in additional election money to the states. (The Postal Service's inspector general is also investigating.)