Louis DeJoy, Postmaster General for the United States Postal Service (USPS), confirmed he would be pausing all operational changes until after the general election in November.
On Tuesday afternoon, DeJoy issued a statement with an explanation for the decision. Amid mounting scrutiny about the abrupt operational changes to the postal service, DeJoy noted that the decision was to avoid “even the appearance” of his directives having an impact on the upcoming election.
“To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded,” DeJoy said in a statement.
DeJoy also addressed a number of issues that have raised concerns for Americans nationwide.
He is ensuring post office hours of operation will not change, and mail processing equipment and blue collection boxes will stay in place. He also confirmed that no processing facilities will be shut down and overtime will be reinstated and paid to workers, as needed.
USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy issued the following statement today.— U.S. Postal Service (@USPS) August 18, 2020
DeJoy’s latest statement comes amid heightened scrutiny from Democratic lawmakers. Over the last two months, USPS has undergone drastic changes that have impacted the lives of workers and Americans who utilize and depend on the postal service.
Photos have begun circulating showing mail processing equipment being removed from facilities across the United States.
Currently, mail delays have become so apparent, at least 20 states are reportedly planning to sue the postal service, according to The Washington Post.
President Donald Trump also raised red flags on Thursday when he suggested that his refusal to bail out the postal service would be a means of prohibiting Democrats from “universal mail-in voting,” as previously reported on IJR.
“They want $25 billion for the post office. Now, they need that money in order to have the post office work so it could take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump said.
He added, “Now, in the meantime, they aren’t getting there. By the way, those are just two items. But if they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting, because they’re not equipped to have it.”
Shortly after Trump’s remarks aired on the Fox Business Network, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called for a hearing to investigate DeJoy’s handling of the postal service.
Despite the criticism DeJoy has faced, he noted his intentions for the post office in his statement.
“I came to the Postal Service to make changes to secure the success of this organization and its long-term sustainability,” DeJoy said in a statement. “I believe significant reforms are essential to that objective, and work toward those reforms will commence after the election.”
DeJoy is set to testify before the Republican-led Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Friday. Then, on Monday, he and USPS Board of Governors Chairman Robert Duncan will testify before the Democratic-led House Oversight Committee.