On Friday, DeJoy announced a hiring freeze for leadership positions and a massive reorganization of top Postal Service leaders.
Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia, the congressional Democrat who chairs the committee overseeing the postal service, called the moves “sabotage.”
“Postmaster General DeJoy is calling this a ‘modified organizational structure.’ It’s really a Trojan Horse,” said Connolly on Twitter, sharing a Washington Post report about the changes. “Deliberate sabotage to disrupt mail service on the eve of the election — an election that hinges on mail-in ballots.”
This is the latest example of Trump’s paranoia about the political system infecting Americans’ faith in institutions. His constant effort to undermine belief in mail-in voting is dovetailing with his political ally’s convenient effort to reform the Postal Service. Add in his Treasury secretary’s effort to exert more control over the postal service. This is the stuff conspiracy theories are made of.
Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York, who chairs the Government Oversight Committee, called for the changes to be halted.
“The drastic changes to the Postal Service by an overtly partisan Postmaster General are another example of the President’s attempts to prevent millions of Americans from having their votes counted,” she said in a Saturday statement.
DeJoy said Friday at a meeting of the Postal Service Board of Governors that there would be no slowdown of mail related to the election.
“We will do everything we can to deliver election mail in a timely manner consistent with our operational standards,” he said, adding, “Despite any assertions to the contrary, we are not slowing down election mail or any other mail. Instead we continue to employ a robust and proven process to ensure proper handling of all election mail.”
Trump has questioned whether the mail system could handle mail-in voting caused by the pandemic and threatened to sue efforts to expand mail-in voting in places like Nevada, which he said are “using Covid to steal the state.”
Democratic leaders, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, had what Schumer described as a “heated discussion” with DeJoy about the cuts.
The postal service needs money
The Postal Service has asked for $75 billion in emergency funding under its previous director, who suggested it could be broke by September.
Now, Democrats have pushed to include $25 billion in a new stimulus bill. It’s become a sticking point in stalled negotiations for that bill, which would also extend expanded unemployment benefits and include a new direct payment to people affected by the pandemic.
The Postal Service is an independent organization, but in order to access the loan, it agreed to giving information about its operations to the Trump administration, including handing over previously confidential agreements it entered into with delivery giants like Amazon.
Trump has demanded the Postal Service raise delivery fees on companies like Amazon, which was founded by Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post.
After the loan, Connolly and Maloney said the pandemic was being leveraged to give the administration more control.