TODAY: Postmaster Louis DeJoy and Postal Board of Governors Robert M. Duncan testify before @OversightDems starting at 10AM. Live-tweet session kicks off here with a full report to follow. Join me!
You can also watch it here:
The hearing will be underway shortly with Postmaster DeJoy and USPS Board of Governors chairman Robert Duncan.
. @RepMaloney gives a friendly elbow bump to the Postmaster before the hearing begins and she gavels in.
And away we go.
. @RepMaloney begins.
In all of our districts, we are hearing from constituents about significant delays in delivery of mail, medicine, food and other supplies. They are life-threatening during the Covid-19 crisis and complaints are not isolated.
. @RepMaloney when we have asked postal leaders about these delays, they were downplayed as temporary or "unintended consequences" to cutbacks.
The delays are not a myth or conspiracy theory, Maloney says. These steep declines did not start in April or May when Covid hit us, but in July when DeJoy came on board and began making his changes.
Maloney: "Maybe DeJoy was warned his changes would cause delays but he disregarded them. That would be extremely reckless in the middle of a pandemic and ahead of an election."
Or perhaps DeJoy is doing exactly what Trump said he wanted on national TV, using the blocking of funds to hovel mail-in voting.
Rep. James Comer says Democrats have fabricated a "baseless conspiracy theory" about the postal service delays
(The actual data undercuts this)
Comer says the committee is doing things backwards, takes issue with process of having this hearing after the vote held on Saturday instead of before.
He wants to see USPS returned to viable institution but calls this, again, a stirred up frenzy initiated by media
Rep. Connolly: We have a PMG who, weeks into the job and in the midst of a global pandemic and weeks before a consequential natl election where postal service will play a significant role - he sows "confusion" into the postal service and announces changes w/o engaging staff/union
DeJoy did not consult Congress but had the confidence to denounce overtime, conduct sweeping changes.
And worse still, USPS Board of Guvs Robert Duncan is a "rubber stamp," for DeJoy to move ahead with these changes, Connolly says.
The people condemn attempts to turn a crown jewel of the federal government into a spoiled system's honeypot. We cannot and must not let that happen, Rep. @GerryConnolly says.
What leader would take steps to freeze overtime on a workforce that is risking its life to do its work in the middle of a pandemic? @GerryConnolly asks of DeJoy.

PMG has "never once asked Congress to help despite a team of members ready to provide financial and other support. "
The PMG has still not advocated for additional funding for postal service despite the fact that Trump appointed USPS Board of Gov requested it and at the level passed in legislation through the House but rejected by the WH this weekend
Connolly, deeply cutting to DeJoy, congratulates DeJoy sarcastically for wrecking the usual order of Postal Service in record time.
"This is about the future of our democratic institutions, the future of the most important election in my lifetime. That is what is at stake today"
"This is absolutely disgusting," Rep Jody Hice says of having today's hearing after the weekend vote that approved legislation to give USPS $25B and revert operational changes back to Jan 1, 2020 standards before DeJoy overhaul
Rep. Jody Hice: Yes there have been delays, there are thousands of USPS workers not showing up to work due to Covid-19. Are we surprised there are any delays? Of course not. PMG has nothing to do with Covid-19 or with thousands of his workers not showing up.
"Conspiracy" to influence the election is being spearheaded by Democrats using "fraudulent methods" Rep Hice says
Rep Mark Walker, R-NC, says "how sad is it when cancel culture has reached the halls of Congress"
He notes insolvency at Postal Service is not DeJoy's fault, but is the result of legislation passed by Congress over 10 years ago
Indeed, the Postal Service has been locked into a mandate setting aside $5 billion per year in advance funding for retiree health benefits.

It is a longstanding issue that has drained funding.
Request your ballots early and vote early as a common sense best practice, PMG DeJoy says.
PMG DeJoy says "I did not direct removal of blue mailboxes or mail processing equipment. I did not direct a cutback on overtime or elimination of overtime. I did however suspend these practices to remove any misperceptions about our commitment to delivering the nation's mail."
PMG DeJoy: "Any further assertions by media or lawmakers is furthering a false narrative."
The issue with this statement by DeJoy is that internal documents from USPS have shown that the changes went into effect after his appointment.
Duncan defending DeJoy as PMG. Calls USPS a "broken business model" A deliberate thought process was behind DeJoy's pick, Duncan says. "He was picked for his private sector experience"
DeJoy is one of five postmaster generals to ever hold the role without first rising through the Postal Service ranks.
DeJoy is the former CEO of supply chain provider New Breed Logistics, which he sold for $615 million to XPO Logistics, a company competing w/USPS srvcs
Disclosures provided to Congress by DeJoy and his wife Aldona Wos also indicate a lucrative portfolio: Between the two, they hold roughly $30 to $75 million in assets and investments, most of which stem from XPO Logistics.
Rep Maloney begins with her q's by noting that 26 Republicans joined Democrats in the vote on Saturday to invest more $ and shift back ops
Beginning in July, when he started his changes: first class mail down 8.1% from baseline before his changes.

Marketing mail, below, down 8.42%, Periodicals almost down 10%.
"You downplay these delays but this is a disaster for people who need their mail"
DeJoy, stumbling through as he speaks: "...We're starting to see a nice recovery and my goal is to get it higher... we're not meeting metrics before but with this fundamental change, we have a real good shot of getting to the stated metrics we are supposedly governed by"
DeJoy: "They asked me for it on Friday. They asked me for an analysis on my decision.
There's a lot of reasons for delays than the actions I took to run your trucks on time. There are other reasons for delays in the nation."
Maloney: I would say running trucks on time would increase delivery but it backed it up
DeJoy, cutting in over her, 'Oddly enough..." and trails off.

Maloney again, asks him, why did he leave out the data in the testimony last week, or in reports to Congress.
"We sent our letter 2 days after you received this briefing," Maloney says. "It must have been fresh on your mind. There's absolutely no excuse for concealing or withholding this info. from the committee or during testimony in Senate when expressly asked about details in doc"
says to Postmaster DeJoy: "A full and complete production of all requested documents must be submitted no later than this coming Wednesday and if you continue to withhold information or refuse to comply, you can expect a subpoena."
Earlier tweet deleted for clarity due to typo.
Rep Virginia Foxx asks DeJoy what he thinks will make the USPS self-sufficient.
Reform legislation, pension reform, "The postal service itself is a library of OIG reports identifying flawed practices and billions in waste that this committee, nobody seems to pay attention to"
Rep. Foxx takes issue with the legislation passed on Saturday because it bars DeJoy from making any further operational changes while pandemic is still on.
DC delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton says why wouldn't overtime be necessary while we are in the middle of a pandemic.
She notes reports that direction on overtime came from a midlevel manager. So she asks, why would a postal mgr send this doc w/o some kind of word from DeJoy?
DeJoy says "I've purposefully tried not to find out it was.
It was not a directive from me." Then he says "There's 50k managers within the organization" and this is why he changed the organization 'quickly after the rollout of the truck schedule"
Norton: So are you looking for whomever it was that jumped ahead of you?

DeJoy: "Absolutely."

So, exactly the opposite of what he said at the top.
Postmaster DeJoy: "I will be very very clear... we are working with our union, leadership, management teams and employees, we will be able to handle all election mail for the 2020 election."
Did he propose any changes to overtime, removing sorting machines, extra trips? DeJoy: My direction was, we need to work on getting our trucks on schedule and mitigating our extra trips. It wasn't a flat directive, it was worked into our plan, come up w/a plan to work w/our plan"
There's a whole lot of clarity that is lacking in these answers.
Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-MA is up and in a nutshell that I am a LIGHTLY paraphrasing for speed.
As PMG for last 70 days, is DeJoy aware that delivery was largely reliable until he showed up?
In the days after 9/11, we had direct anthrax attacks on USPS. 2 postal service workers in D.C. died from inhalation, Lynch says, but for the good of the country, the postal unions continued to send their members in to do their job and keep the postal service running.
In the middle of a pandemic and ahead of a national election when CDC is advising ppl not to gather, limit contact, DeJoy service moved ahead with removing sorting machines.
For the first time in 240 years in the history of USPS, he sent out a letter, "embarrassingly to 46 states that said the Post Office can't guarantee we can deliver the mail in time for elections in November."
"You have ended a once-proud tradition," Rep. Lynch says

"How can one person screw this up in just a few weeks? I understand you bring private sector expertise, I guess we couldn't find a government worker who could screw it up this fast."
Lynch says DeJoy is running the Postal Service "into the ground"
Lynch, full volume, asks DeJoy will you put the sorting machines back.
DeJoy says "I will not."
Lynch: "There you go."
So again - to recap - DeJoy was just asked if he will put back the sorting machines that speed mail processing ahead of the election where the USPS itself has acknowledged it will see 10x the amount of election mail this year.
DeJoy said he would not.
There's chatter from an unmuted mic and Rep. Gary Palmer jokes, "It must be the Chinese hacking in"
Rep. Jim Cooper, D-TN describes one account he's heard from his constituents on delays since DeJoy reforms.

$5 paid for certified mail. The letter had to travel 20 miles. It took 12 days to arrive.
Cooper: A postal employee can be held in jail for five years for delaying the mail. But he can delay all of the mail and get away with it? Do you have a duty to obey U.S. law like every other American?
DeJoy: I do sir.
Previous PMGs (Runyon) have been punished for much smaller conflicts of interest than his, Cooper says.
Cooper: If your $30M conflict of interest were treated like your predecessors, you'd have to pay a fine and probably be ousted as PMG. Are you above the law?
DeJoy: I dont agree to the premise. There's an OIG investigation and I welcome the result of that report.
Cooper: As a megadonor to Trump campaign, you were picked along with Michael Cohen and Elliot Broidy to be deputy finance chair of RNC.
Then he asks:
Cooper to DeJoy: Did you pay back several of top execs for contributing to Trump's campaign by bonusing them or rewarding them?
DeJoy: That's an outrageous claim sir and I resent it.
Cooper: I'm just asking a question.
DeJoy: The answer is no.
Rep. Cooper: Do your mail delays help Trump's campaign goals of hurting the post office?
PMG DeJoy says he "won't answer these types of questions." He's here "to talk about improvements to the Postal Service."
Then DeJoy, losing patience...
DeJoy: Am I the only one in this room who understands we have a $10B loss?
Cooper reclaims time: will PMG give his communications with Meadows/Mnuchin to Congress?
DeJoy cuts in, Go ahead and do that.
Then, @repjimcooper to PMG DeJoy: "Is your back up plan to be pardoned like Roger #Stone?"

There are audible groans in the room and much crosstalk.
DeJoy won't answer, says he has no comment on such a question.

DeJoy, under oath: "At no time did I say don't put the mail on the trucks when they left on time. This was not a hard direct, everything must leave on time. We still have thousands of trucks per day that leave late or w/in a certain timeframe & there are still 100s of extra trips
DeJoy: "The intention was to put the mail on the trucks and have the trucks leave on time."
Rep Clay, D-MO, asks DeJoy if he conducted analysis ahead of changes considering impact on things like having insulin left to sit on the floor at postal centers?
DeJoy says: "We're concerned about the impact on each individual across the country and we're working to bring service levels back to where they were and we'll be there shortly."
In close, Rep Clay asks for DeJoy to bring Congress data on internal deliberations.
. @GerryConnolly is up. He notes the 8% decline in delivery services since DeJoy took over.
Connolly acknowledges context is important here. Yes, pandemic is on, Americans want to vote by mail, intend to vote by mail but let's stipulate your motives were pure.
Connolly says: As a good CEO, wouldn't you take measures to quickly ameliorate unintended consequences, to delays etc.
DeJoy responds by saying: The request was, put together a plan to run your trucks on time, and he did.
DeJoy to questions from Connolly about his contact with people on "Trump campaign" or inside the admin. re ops changes/delays.

I never spoke to Steve [sic; Treasury Secy Mnuchin] about telling POTUS not to do something.
Rep Jim Jordan throwing out baseless accusations that Democrats want to see the November 3 election drag out weeks, if not months, after Trump wins so they can keep counting illegal votes.
USPS Board of Governors Duncan taking questions from Rep. Krishnamoorthi. The rep notes Duncan serves on super PACs Senate Leadership Fund and American Crossroads.
Russell Reynolds Assoc. was contracted to find the best person for the job - this is how Duncan described the hunt for PMG before DeJoy ultimately came on.
Russell Reynolds reviewed 212 candidates and they narrowed the search to 53 after reviewing bios and backgrounds and vetted
Rep. Krishnamoorthi notes, according to former IG at USPS: DeJoy was NOT among the 53 presented to the board.
So what was it: Russell Reynolds considered Dejoy and thought better of it? Or DeJoy was not considered at all? Which was it?
Duncan: We were still in the process of developing the pool before we had our first round interviews.
Krishnamoorthi says, yes, but DeJoy did not make the initial cut in 53 finalists presented to board but he was inserted into the final round of 14 candidates
There were repeated requests for the board to do background checks on DeJoy by the Postal Inspection Service but the board refused to do that background check and that was not shared with the board before they voted, Krishnamoorthi notes.
Krish. quotes Duncan stmts in old CNN and Las Vegas Sun articles where he said "Obama Biden Democrats are trying to steal election victories from Republicans."
Krish: "I assume you still believe that about Joe Biden?"
Duncan says he has no memory of it.
Today, Duncan: I don't believe anyone at this point is trying to steal an election.
Krishnamoorthi notes how this undercut what POTUS says regularly.
Duncan: We had lots of ppl who had input [on DeJoy appt] incl. members of Congress and people in the Trump admin. We ran out of time, we're moving as fast as possible. During that time, it was when DeJoy's interest/availability became known to me & I submitted his name & others
. @RepRaskin to Postmaster DeJoy: Should we be celebrating trucks going out on time if they don't have people's prescription drugs or packages on them?
. @RepRaskin: POTUS called the Postal Service a joke. Is it a joke?
DeJoy: The Postal Service isn't a joke.
Would you hire me without a background check?
DeJoy says they're mandatory.
Raskin: But you didn't have one?
DeJoy says he did.
Raskin: Would you release yours?
DeJoy: No
PMG DeJoy: "I had a perfectly good life prior to this but I was interested in helping and I was called by Russell Reynolds out of the blue."

@RepRaskin says they want the background check because it would help identify patterns of misconduct.
Raskin mentions XPO Logistics, DeJoy's former company, which has contracts with Postal Service stretching back many years.
A background check would help identify problems with contract performance and billing practices
Would he release that file so everyone can see?
There's cross talk.
Raskin says, do you have $30M in investment?
Comer calls out, saying Raskin has gone over time.
DeJoy: I have a significant investment in XPO Logistics which I vetted with Ethics Dept at Postal Service and I was given specific types of guidelines I adhere to
I complied with all ethical requirements. I guess we'll get to everything you're interested in and we'll see what happens, DeJoy tells Raskin testily before we go into a brief recess.
And we are back.
Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky. enters two letters into the record from Obama era where mail processing facilities were consolidated and notes it was in 2012, an election year. "Dems put up a conspiracy theory the post office will be at fault for disenfranchising voters..."
Massie asks Duncan, in 2012, was this part of a conspiracy to disenfranchise voters or stop people from getting medicine or soc. sec checks?
Duncan says he has no knowledge of that.

Discussion over former PMG Brennan being a CEO. Massie argues no q's of impropriety raised then.
Notably, consolidations also not made during a pandemic then.

Massie, exasperated: The fed govt ceases to be funded on Sept. 30 and we're holding a hearing on the Post Office that is funded through at least 2021
Rep Harley Rouda, D-Calif., says there's a bipartisan bill sitting on McConnell's task that would eliminate the prefunding mandate for USPS workers that DeJoy and others decry as drain on agency's funding.
If they want to negotiate on that, Rouda essentially says, PMG should do what he can to help them bridge that gap.
More on pre-funding of healthcare for workers: has he
made written modifications to postal service five year plan, can he provide it to the committee?
DeJoy says he's working on it. And he's working on plan for financial instability at PO.
Surely you've got memorandum? Rouda asks, pressing for a draft of the plan aand other records/memo ASAP.
Rep. Rouda: Can you give us a draft?
DeJoy: Probably not.
DeJoy and Rep. Ro Khanna: Khanna asks about putting machines back earlier pulled out. Khanna says if they gave USPS $1B to do it, would he do it, even if it wasn't enough/not sufficient or machines wouldn't work, just to restore faith even, would he do it?
DeJoy initially rails, saying Congress wouldn't give him $1B anyway, they've been underfunded for years, so he doesn't want to entertain the hypothetical.
Khanna pushes back and in nutshell, BUT if I got you money, I have you on record, saying you would?
DeJoy agrees to it.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy says he plans on voting by mail this year.
. @RepJamesComer says the bill passed on Saturday ties DeJoy's hands from making any mgmt decisions yet Dems have given him $25B in it.
@RepMaloney recognizes herself.
"I authored that bill when PMG DeJoy made changes that slowed mail down."
Maloney: The bill doesn't in any way hinder the postal service.

Of the USPS, she adds: "It deserves to be funded, it's a national treasure and national service."
I'm back!
. @AOC is up. And she notes his announcement was flagged by many as a controversial pick due to his extensive experience with the supply chain, served as board of directors and CEO for XPO Logistics.

She submits his new entrant reporter detailing fin disclosures, XPO filings.
He's received 1.6M in rental payments from XPO.
Has he taken any meetings with XPO Logistics since becoming Postmaster? He says he has not.
AOC asks if he has texted/called with any XPO officers.
He has, he still has many friends there, he says.
. @AOC asks if DeJoy if he keeps a daily calendar.
Have there been any deletions on his calendar since becoming PMG?
No, he doesn't think so.
Does the Ethics Office at USPS have full access to his calendar?
They do.
She asks if he will supply those docs at Congress request.
DeJoy says, I dont know.
@AOC says electronic calendars are held on USPS computers as such are agency records.
DeJoy says if that in fact that is the process and if his counsel says he must comply with, he will
Is USPS under a hiring freeze, @AyannaPressley asks.
DeJoy says yes, at the management level.
On Covid: 83 postal service workers have died.
Is he collecting that data in real time?
DeJoy says PS has a task force that has "complete visibility from PPE to cases in geographical areas"
Pressley: So you do have a mechanism that you are formally collecting data?
DeJoy confirms that he does. @AyannaPressley asks for DeJoy to provide access to those records to Congress by this Friday.

So if you're keeping track - subpoena by Wednesday if he doesnt give over memos on ops decisions and deadline for data on Covid/PS employees by Fri.
Was Duncan aware that 4 women allegedly suffered miscarriages at New Breed Logistics, the company DeJoy formerly led, due to failures there to accommodate those women's request for light duty?
Duncan says he is not but DeJoy passed a background check...
There is crosstalk but @AyannaPressley says to Duncan she isn't very much interested in that background check because she questions its very credibility to start with.
DeJoy says his investments are not active.
Tlaib runs down the list of those officials Trump has put in positions of power and who have been indicted (Gates, Cohen, Manafort, just to name a few) effectively warning him not to make the same decisions that could lead him to the same fate.
. @RepKatiePorter is asking DeJoy on price rates for priority mail, delivery, postcards and he doesn't know. But he does know the cost of a single stamp. She then asks, how many people voted by mail in the last presidential election? To the nearest million or ten million?
He can't answer. He doesn't know.
Porter says she's concerned that all he seems to know is the price of the stamp. She brings up her concerns over changes to overtime etc.
He insists he did not make changes.
She asks if he knows who?
He says there were plans put in place long before.
If you didn't order it, then tell the committee who did? Porter asks.
DeJoy: I do not know.
. @RepKatiePorter: Did you analyze the plans before they went into effect?
DeJoy says it was in place before he arrived.
But @RepKatiePorter: Do you take responsibility for these changes?
PMG DeJoy: I take responsibility from the day I sat in the seat for any service deterioration that has occurred.
You're asking about operational changes that go on throughout the whole organization.
Will DeJoy commit to reversing these changes? Porter asks.
He says, flatly, "No."
Will he commit that if the inspector general finds he committed misconduct with any other company like XPO Logistics or Amazon, will he commit to resigning?
On @RepKatiePorter Q. of DeJoy's resignation, he says:
I don't believe they will find misconduct but I don't see why I would commit here to resigning for any reason.
Porter: You don't think there's any reason you should ever resign?
DeJoy: No reason that I've heard here today.
Earlier DeJoy said he had not been in touch or had any conversations with Mark Meadows re: postal operations.
DeJoy says to Maloney, "I'm trying to remember the answer that I gave. "
He recalls: "Mark Meadows accompanied Steve Mnuchin and myself and Sen. Schumer and Speaker Pelosi, in a room talking about machines and from the standpoint of that conversation there, Mark Meadows was there."
"After I left...we had a discussion about when we made a decision here at the Postal Service to stop the process with regarding to sorting machines.
I can't remember when I spoke to him about that. I spoke to the Speaker, Schumer, your office," DeJoy tells Maloney
"With regard to the organization/truck schedule, he didn't speak to anyone about that.
DeJoy says USPS will be in much better shape next week in terms of deliveries.

There are a lot of deadlines to meet between now and then.
In his closing remarks, @RepJamesComer says today's hearing was politically motivated and to fire up the Democrat base and fundraise off of the Post Office
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