Schumer demands details of postmaster general selection process

Schumer demands details of postmaster general selection process
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPoll: Majority of voters say more police are needed amid rise in crime America's middle class is getting hooked on government cash — and Democrats aren't done yet The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate finalizes .2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill MORE (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday pressed for details on how the Postal Service Board of Governors selected 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, accusing them of blocking Congress from questioning a firm involved in the process.

Schumer sent a letter to board Chairman Robert Duncan, urging them to be "fully transparent" about the board's selection of DeJoy, a Trump donor who, unlike recent predecessors, was not a career postal employee.

"Since assuming his position, Mr. DeJoy has made a series of damaging operational changes that have led to reports of dramatic delays in the delivery of mail, including paychecks, prescription drugs, and mail-in ballots. These delays — taking place during a devastating global pandemic and a national election — have only heightened the need for answers on why Mr. DeJoy was selected," Schumer wrote.

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The board told Schumer in July that much of the information he was requesting on DeJoy's selection process was "confidential." In Wednesday's letter, Schumer said the board of governors was preventing Russell Reynolds Associates, a firm used to help pick the next postmaster general, from speaking with Congress by refusing to waive a nondisclosure agreement.

"I request that you immediately release Russell Reynolds from any non-disclosure agreement so that Congress and the communities served by the Postal Service can obtain the full story behind Mr. DeJoy’s selection. I also call on you to direct the Board to provide a complete and fulsome explanation of the role of President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions The Memo: Left pins hopes on Nina Turner in Ohio after recent defeats Biden administration to keep Trump-era rule of turning away migrants during pandemic MORE and Secretary Mnuchin in the search process for a new Postmaster and the selection of Mr. DeJoy," Schumer wrote.

He added that his office had learned of calls Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Biden rallies Senate Dems behind mammoth spending plan Mnuchin dodges CNBC questions on whether Trump lying over election Democrats justified in filibustering GOP, says Schumer MORE had with members of the board of governors "which has not been previously disclosed by the Board."

The Postal Service has found itself in the middle of a political firestorm as DeJoy faced bipartisan backlash over mail delays and concerns that changes being implemented would affect its ability to handle a potential surge in mail-in ballots expected this fall due to the coronavirus.

DeJoy announced this week that he would delay any changes until after the election "to avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail." But Democrats are still pursuing the matter, with the House slated to vote Saturday on legislation that's expected to include provisions providing $25 billion in funding and preventing the Postal Service from implementing changes to operations that it had in place as of January.