Postmaster General Shares Agency's 'No. 1 Priority'

Louis DeJoy tells Senate panel the USPS is ready for mail-in ballots
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2020 9:58 AM CDT
Updated Aug 21, 2020 2:11 PM CDT
Postmaster General Shares Agency's 'No. 1 Priority'
In this image from video, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies during a virtual hearing before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.   (US Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs via AP)

The head of the US Postal Service pledged Friday that his agency is ready to handle this year's expected surge in mail-in ballots. The USPS "is fully capable and committed to delivering the nation’s election mail fully and on time," Postmaster General Louis DeJoy told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, per the New York Times. And in response to a question from Mitt Romney, he said, “We will scour every plant each night leading up to Election Day,” to make sure no ballots sent at the last minute get lost. More:

  • A contrast: President Trump has been attacking the credibility of mail voting, but DeJoy didn't join in. "I think the American public should be able to vote by mail,” he said, reports Politico. In fact, DeJoy says he votes by mail himself (as does the president) and will do so again this year.
  • A pledge: He said the USPS would prioritize mail-in ballots, deploying "processes and procedures to advance the election mail, in some cases ahead of first-class mail.” He called this the agency's "No. 1 priority," per the Hill.

  • Denial: He called accusations that policies he initially enacted were intended to suppress mail voting "outrageous" and a "false narrative," reports the Washington Post. (The changes, including curbs on overtime, have been suspended until after the election.) “I’d like to emphasize there has been no changes of any policies in regard to election mail for the 2020 election,” he said. DeJoy added that he has not spoken with Trump about the USPS aside from a congratulatory call upon his appointment earlier this year.
  • Opposing views: Panel chair Ron Johnson, a Republican, defended DeJoy and said his policy changes were not "some devious plot" as critics allege. But Democrat Gary Peters said DeJoy owed Americans an apology. “Your decisions have cost Americans their health, their time, their livelihoods, and their peace of mind," he said. "I believe you owe them an apology for the harm you have caused." DeJoy can expect more of that line of thought on Monday when he testifies before a Democrat-led House panel.
  • Post-election: Dejoy confirmed that he had "dramatic" changes in store for the USPS after the election. He said they were necessary to ensure its survival.
(One senator's first attempt to use his video link ended comically.)

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