News, Trump Administration

House Democrats pummel DeJoy over sharp declines in on-time mail delivery

Stacks of boxes holding mail are seen at a U.S. Post Office sorting center. Photo by Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Rep. Virginia Foxx defends embattled postmaster general

WASHINGTON — Postmaster General Louis DeJoy came under heavy fire Monday for withholding key information about delays in the delivery of mail since he took over the Postal Service just two months ago.

In a hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Democrats pressed DeJoy over an internal report made public over the weekend showing steep declines in on-time mail deliveries since July — challenging GOP claims that Democrats manufactured the crisis.

DeJoy did not share findings from the Aug. 12 report last week when senators asked for information about the delays in a Senate oversight hearing on the matter. 

Nor did DeJoy share its findings in response to an Aug. 14 letter Democratic leaders sent him requesting information about the delays by Aug. 21, according to Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat who chairs the oversight panel.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifying before the Senate last week.

The internal post office report “unfortunately” came from a separate source, she said. It was posted on the House Oversight website on Saturday.

There is “absolutely no excuse” for withholding the information, Maloney declared. She threatened to subpoena DeJoy if he does not deliver additional information lawmakers have requested by Wednesday.

The hearing came amid Democratic allegations that the Trump administration is trying to suppress votes during a pandemic in which the postal service will serve as “election central” because Americans will be reluctant to vote in person for fear of spreading infection.

In addition to undermining the integrity of the elections, the delays are depriving Americans of timely delivery of medicine, paychecks and other essentials, Democrats complained.

President Donald Trump told Fox News earlier this month that he opposes some funding for the Postal Service because he doesn’t want it used for mail-in votes, repeating his claim that it would lead to “fraudulent” results.

Rep. Gerald Connolly, a Virginia Democrat who chairs the panel’s subcommittee on government operations, said Monday that Democrats aimed to save the postal service and preserve “our democratic institutions.”

DeJoy has ushered in sweeping changes to the agency since taking the job 70 days ago but has called allegations that they were intended to sway the election results “outrageous.”

In testimony Monday, he said there were numerous reasons for delays and characterized them as a temporary service decline rather than a permanent change.

He said he remains “laser-focused” on addressing the delays but said he has no plans to replace mail processing machines that have already been removed — repeating what he said Friday in testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Democrats questioned DeJoy’s honesty and motives, as well as the process by which he was appointed to the position.  Read more

News, Trump Administration

U.S. Senate sets Postal Service hearing as Congress scrambles to respond to complaints (UPDATED)

Commentary, Trump Administration

Trump’s stunning hypocrisy on voting by mail

Not that it comes as any particular surprise, but the news surrounding President Donald Trump’s latest actions related to the issue of voting by mail in the fall election have to set some kind of new standard when it comes to hypocritical dishonesty.

In case you missed it, Trump admitted yesterday that he is withholding funding from the U.S. Postal Service to make it harder for people to vote by mail. This is from an AP report:

“President Donald Trump frankly acknowledged that he’s starving the U.S. Postal Service of money to make it harder to process an expected surge of mail-in ballots, which he worries could cost him reelection.

In an interview on Fox Business Network, Trump explicitly noted two funding provisions that Democrats are seeking in a relief package that has stalled on Capitol Hill. Without the additional money, he said, the Postal Service won’t have the resources to handle a flood of ballots from voters who are seeking to avoid polling places during the coronavirus pandemic.

‘If we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money,’ Trump told host Maria Bartiromo on Thursday. ‘That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting; they just can’t have it.’

Trump’s statements, including the false claim that Democrats are seeking universal mail-in voting, come as he is searching for a strategy to gain an advantage in his November matchup against Joe Biden. He’s pairing the tough Postal Service stance in congressional negotiations with an increasingly robust mail-in-voting legal fight in states that could decide the election.”

Meanwhile — we are not making this up — Trump himself has requested his own vote-by-mail ballot. This is from CNN:

“President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump requested mail-in ballots for Florida’s primary election on Tuesday, according to Palm Beach County records, despite the President’s frequent attacks on voting by mail.

The records from the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections website show the ballots were mailed Wednesday to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club, which he made his permanent residence last year.”

You really can’t make this stuff up.

But, of course, double standards and favored treatment for rich and powerful people have been hallmarks of the so many Trump administration policies that the president probably can’t even see it anymore when he takes such outrageous, cringe-inducing actions.

COVID-19, News, Trump Administration

Trump’s $400 a week jobless aid could be just $300. It depends on where you live.

Commentary, Trump Administration

The Right’s war on the Postal Service goes back several decades

For those who haven’t been paying especially close attention, it would be easy to get the mistaken impression that the recent assault on the U.S. Postal Service by President Trump and his Postmaster General — Greensboro plutocrat, Louis DeJoy — was something driven only by recent events and, in particular, Trump’s obvious desire to manipulate voting by mail in order to secure reelection.

As a report issued by the good folks at the national research and advocacy organization In the Public Interest documented a couple of weeks back, however, this is not the case. The American Right’s war on the Postal Service actually goes back 50 years and is linked closely to — surprise!! — efforts of the infamous right-wing billionaire, Charles Koch.

This is from the executive summary to “The Billionaire Behind Efforts to Kill the U.S. Postal Service”:

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the already-struggling U.S. Postal Service to the brink of financial collapse. But the most trusted and popular institution in America hasn’t been struggling by accident. Since the 1970s, a concerted effort to popularize the fringe idea of privatizing the Postal Service has been advanced for nearly five decades with the support of one man: the billionaire and libertarian ideologue, Charles Koch, chairman and chief executive officer of Koch Industries.

It’s a sobering and maddening read, but it’s worth a few minutes to get a fuller grasp of how greedy ideologues are aiming to destroy one of the most important public institutions in our country.

Click here to explore the report.