House

Connolly to GOP: I won’t be lectured by those who voted to overturn the election

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) during a House panel on Wednesday pushed back against GOP lawmakers’ claims of partisanship in calls to remove Trump-appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, with the Virginia congressman saying he would “not be lectured by people,” who voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election. 

The exchange came during DeJoy’s hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee over his cost-cutting measures implemented in the months leading up to the November election. 

Connolly was among the 80 Democratic lawmakers who earlier this month called on President Biden to fill three vacancies on the U.S. Postal Service’s Board of Governors, which would pave the way to potentially remove DeJoy from his position. 

In one part of the hearing, Connolly addressed remarks made by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who argued that previous scrutiny over DeJoy’s performance was a politically motivated “charade,” leading up to the election. 

Jordan specifically pointed out that DeJoy around the time of his August committee hearing “had protesters banging on pots and pans outside” his house, with many calling for him to resign. 

“You were the worst guy on the planet last time you were here. I just want to know what’s changed,” Jordan asked. 

DeJoy responded, “Well, we had an election.”

Connolly responded by accusing Jordan of “gaslighting,” while drawing attention away from the mail delays. 

“All the gaslighting that we just heard does not change facts,” Connolly said, adding that it was former President Trump himself who started ramping up unsupported claims last summer that voting by mail was rampant with massive voter fraud. 

“The point is, it was Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, who was planting the idea, aided and abetted by disruptive changes proposed by a new postmaster general and a compliant board of governors that actually eroded public confidence in the ability to vote by mail,” Connolly argued. “That wasn’t a Democratic narrative, that was a Republican narrative by the president of the United States and his enablers.” 

Connolly then responded to earlier comments from Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), who defended DeJoy from what he called “unfounded” allegations from some Democrats that the postmaster general deliberately sabotaged mail-in voting ahead of the November election. 

Connolly said, “I didn’t vote to overturn an election, and I will not be lectured by people who did about partisanship.” 

Both Hice and Jordan were among the GOP lawmakers who voted in favor of rejecting slates of President Biden electors from Arizona and Pennsylvania over unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud that altered the outcome of the elections. 

DeJoy, a major GOP donor who previously worked as a logistic company executive, began enacting measures like removing mail sorting machines after becoming postmaster general in June.

He then put further cost-cutting initiatives on hold until after the November elections to address criticism that the changes were intended to undermine the practice of mail-in voting, which a record number of people relied on for the 2020 election amid the pandemic.

Tags 2020 election Donald Trump Gerry Connolly House Oversight and Reform Committee Jim Jordan Jody Hice Joe Biden Louis DeJoy mail-in voting Postal Service postmaster general Trump election claims USPS

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