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Postmaster general grilled over knowledge of Postal Service policies

Postmaster general grilled over knowledge of Postal Service policies
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Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) on Monday grilled Postmaster General Louis DeJoyLouis DeJoyFBI investigating political fundraising of former employees of Postmaster General DeJoy Postal Service raises stamps to 58 cents as part of restructuring plan Lawmakers request investigation into Postal Service's covert operations program MORE over his knowledge of the Postal Service, focusing heavily on her concerns that he lacks understanding of agency policies.

Porter asked DeJoy a series of questions during a contentious House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing, pressing the postmaster general on the price of stamps, weight limits for priority mail, and how many people voted by mail during the last general election. 

DeJoy provided answers on the cost of a first-class postage stamp, and the weight limit, but acknowledged that he was unsure about other questions, in particular those on mail-in voting. 

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DeJoy also said he did not know the cost of mailing a postcard, leading to criticism from Porter. 

“I am glad you know the price of a stamp, but I am concerned about your understanding of this agency, and I am particularly concerned about it because you started taking very decisive action when you become postmaster general,” Porter said. “You started directing the unplugging and destroying of machines, changing of employee procedures, and locking of collection boxes.”

Porter previously served as a professor at institutions including the University of California Irvine School of Law.

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She told DeJoy that she had “always told my students that one of the most important rules in life is to read the instructions,” asking whether he “actually read and independently analyzed” planned reforms to the Postal Service before they went into effect.

DeJoy strongly pushed back against Porter’s concerns, emphasizing that he “did not order major overhaul plans,” and describing recent reforms made to the Postal Service as plans that “existed prior to my arrival that were implemented.”

While DeJoy refused to commit to reversing recent changes, he did acknowledge that he “took responsibility from the day I sat in the seat for any service deterioration that has occurred.”

Following the exchange with DeJoy, Porter criticized the postmaster general, tweeting in reference to whether DeJoy had come prepared to answer questions that “spoiler alert: he did not.”

The hearing was the second time in the past four days that DeJoy appeared on Capitol Hill to answer questions around reforms to the Postal Service that had caused reported delays in service, and led critics to accuse DeJoy of attempting to hurt the ability of the agency to deliver mail-in ballots during the COVID-19 pandemic.

DeJoy strongly pushed back against these concerns as well, noting that ensuring the delivery of election mail went smoothly this fall was his “No. 1 priority.”