Democrat leaders in the Congress have expressed grave concerns over U.S. Postal Service’s recent operational changes which they fear could lead to automatic disenfranchisement of voters because the changes portend threat of mail-in-ballots late arrival.
The Democrat leaders in a statement on Sunday August 16, 2020, requested the Postal Service’s top officials, Louis DeJoy, Postmaster General; and Robert Duncan, the Postal Service Board of Governors Chairman, appear before the House Oversight and Reform Committee and answer questions regarding the changes.
Congressional Democrats raised alarm over slow delivery and backlog of mails occasioned by DeJoy’s operational changes.
This has led to the date of the hearing being brought back to 4th of August from the initial schedule of mid September
While announcing the hearing, the Democrats leader said in a statement, “The postmaster general and top Postal Service leaders must answer to the Congress and the American people as to why they are pushing these dangerous new policies that threaten to silence the voices of millions, just months before the election.”
DeJoy, President Trump’s ally, assuming position of postmaster general in June, has brought Postal Service into a whirl of criticism with several changes he has introduced into the service.
Of his changes are prohibition of extra trip by postal workers for mails that arrived late, cutting down overtime, and restructuring agency’s top ranks.
The changes have however brought about negative development in the service with backlog of letters and parcels as a result of delays in delivery are now a commonplace.
The Democrat leaders have thus called for revocation of the changes as the delivery time for prescriptions, bills and checks now take a longer time than normal.
Similarly, Lawmakers and election officials have also expressed concern over the possible consequence of the operational changes as it could cause delays in mail-in ballots delivery especially now that many states have been forced by the presence of the pandemic to expand the mail-in-ballots in the forthcoming November 3 election.
Speaking about the urgency of addressing the Postal Service operational changes, the Democrat leaders accused House and Senate Republicans of not giving the matter the serious attention it deserves.
“As House and Senate Democrats continue to respond urgently to address the sabotage of the Postal Service, House and Senate Republicans have been missing in action,” they said.
While addressing the matter, Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader, called on Ron Johnson, who leads Senate Homeland Security panel to demand DeJoy and Duncan to appear before his own oversight hearing.
Schumer demanded that DeJoy be removed from the post should he refuse to testify.
“Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans cannot continue to ignore the problems DeJoy’s reforms have caused or say a problem does not exist,” Schumer said.
“Congress must step up and force the Postal Service to reverse these changes if the Postmaster General and the Board of Governors refuse to act,” he added.