“They’re Not Needed, Sir”: DeJoy Tells Senate He Has No Intention of Returning Mail Sorting Machines

Update:

In testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Friday, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy told lawmakers that he has “no intention” of returning or replacing mail-sorting machines that have been removed from post offices across the nation.

Questioned on the machine removals by Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), DeJoy said, “They’re not needed, sir.”

Watch:

According to the American Postal Workers Union, the U.S. Postal Service under DeJoy’s leadership was moving to decommission more than 670 sorting machines around the country before the postmaster general vowed to suspend his operational changes earlier this week.

Iowa Postal Workers Union President Kimberly Karol—a 30-year Postal Service veteran—told NPR last week that the removal of mail-sorting machines “hinders our ability to process mail in the way that we had in the past.”

Earlier:

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is set to testify Friday before the Republican-controlled Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in the wake of startling new revelations surrounding the process that led to his appointment as well as fresh details on his plans for a massive post-election overhaul of mail operations.

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Earlier this week, as Common Dreams reported, DeJoy vowed to suspend—but not reverse—his policy changes at the U.S. Postal Service that caused massive package backlogs across the country and threatened the timely delivery of mail-in ballots.

According to the Washington Post, DeJoy “has mapped out far more sweeping changes to the U.S. Postal Service than previously disclosed, considering actions that could lead to slower mail delivery in parts of the country and higher prices for some mail services.”

“The plans under consideration, described by four people familiar with Postal Service discussions, would come after the election and touch on all corners of the agency’s work,” the Post reported. “They include raising package rates, particularly when delivering the last mile on behalf of big retailers; setting higher prices for service in Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico; curbing discounts for nonprofits; requiring election ballots to use first-class postage; and leasing space in Postal Service facilities to other government agencies and companies.”

Watch DeJoy’s testimony, which is scheduled to begin at 9:00 am ET:

In a letter (pdf) Thursday to USPS Board of Governors member John Barger—who, like DeJoy, is a major Republican donor—Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) and Katie Porter (D-Calif.) raised alarm about Barger’s role in selecting the postmaster general, who was appointed in May despite his complete lack of experience at the agency.

“As you know, the executive hiring firm Russell Reynolds Associates was contracted to research and recommend a candidate to the United States Postal Service (USPS) Board of Governors for the position of postmaster General,” the lawmakers wrote. “According to individuals familiar with the process, Mr. Louis DeJoy was never recommended by this firm but was rather introduced by you to the selection committee.”

Krishnamoorthi and Porter said in a joint statement Thursday that “the appointment of Mr. Louis DeJoy as postmaster general was highly irregular and we are concerned that his candidacy may have been influenced by political motivations.”

“We need to get to the bottom of why Mr. DeJoy was considered, given that he apparently was not one of the candidates recommended by the firm contracted to make such recommendations, and did not undergo a background check as was urged by then-Inspector General and Vice Chairman of the USPS Board of Governors David Williams.”

Read “They’re Not Needed, Sir”: DeJoy Tells Senate He Has No Intention of Returning Mail Sorting Machines on Common Dreams

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