Washington — Postmaster General Louis DeJoy will testify before the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Friday, amid rising concerns about recent operational changes to the U.S. Postal Service which have led to delays in mail delivery. DeJoy announced Tuesday that he would be suspending these changes until after the election.
"I am pleased to have secured an oversight hearing on Friday with Postmaster General DeJoy in order to address urgent questions on the Postal Service delays that are causing massive disruptions across the country," Democratic Senator Gary Peters said in a statement on Tuesday. "As Ranking Member on the only Senate Committee with oversight of the Postal Service, I will continue pressing for answers on Mr. DeJoy's recent directives and their impacts on all Americans, who rely on the Postal Service for prescriptions, running their small businesses, voting and other crucial purposes."
DeJoy, a major donor to President Trump and Republican causes, became postmaster general in June. Shortly after taking office, the service implemented changes such as eliminating most overtime and prohibiting postal workers from making extra trips for late-arriving mail.
These changes led to a backlog in mail delivery, and raised concerns that the agency will not be prepared for the likely influx of mail-in ballots ahead of the November election. The Postal Service confirmed last week it sent letters to 46 states warning mail-in ballots may not be received in time to be counted.
DeJoy said in his statement announcing the suspension of these changes that "the Postal Service is ready today to handle whatever volume of election mail it receives this fall."
"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.
In May, House Democrats approved a sweeping legislative package that included $25 billion for the Postal Service and $3.5 billion for election assistance to states, legislation which the White House and Senate Republicans oppose. President Trump admitted Thursday that blocking funding for the agency would harm efforts to expand mail-in-voting.
But the president then told reporters later Thursday he would not veto legislation that provided an injection of funding for the Postal Service. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows also told reporters Monday that Mr. Trump would be open to a narrow measure that included funding for the Postal Service.
However, the president railed against the agency on Monday, tweeting that "the U.S. Post Office (System) has been failing for many decades."
DeJoy is alsoin a hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee next week, alongside Robert Duncan, the chairman of the Postal Service Board of Governors. The House is to Washington on Saturday to consider legislation to prevent the Postal Service from implementing any changes to operations or level of service it had in place on January 1, 2020.
Meanwhile, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is calling on Mr. Trump tountil after the November election, according to a letter obtained by CBS News. Several Democratic state attorneys general also announced their intent to file legal action to protect the postal service and mail-in voting on Tuesday.
The internal watchdog for the U.S. Postal Service hasinto the recent changes made at post offices across the country, as well as whether DeJoy and his wife have fully complied with ethics requirements.
Melissa Quinn contributed to this report.