Pelosi says House will return to vote on Postal Service legislation

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Washington — Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday called on the House to return for a special session to vote on legislation that prohibits the Postal Service from implementing any changes to operations or level of service it had in place on January 1, 2020.

A senior Democratic aide tells CBS News the likely plan is to return on Saturday, with Friday as a travel day.

“Alarmingly, across the nation, we see the devastating effects of the President’s campaign to sabotage the election by manipulating the Postal Service to disenfranchise voters,” Pelosi said in a letter to Democrats.

“Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, one of the top Trump mega-donors, has proven a complicit crony as he continues to push forward sweeping new operational changes that degrade postal service, delay the mail, and – according to the Postal Service itself – threaten to deny the ability of eligible Americans to cast their votes through the mail in the upcoming elections in a timely fashion.” 

The Democrats are demanding new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and Postal Service Board of Governors Chairman Robert Duncan appear before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on August 24, moving up the date of a hearing from mid-September, which DeJoy was asked to attend.

The accelerated oversight hearing comes as union leaders and congressional Democrats have sounded the alarm over the backlog of mail and slowdown in delivery spurred by operational changes implemented by DeJoy, which they argue has led to dysfunction at the Postal Service. 

“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,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney and Senate Homeland Security Committee ranking member Gary Peters said in a statement announcing the hearing.

Schumer is also calling on Senator Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican who leads the Senate Homeland Security panel, to urgently convene its own oversight hearing with DeJoy and Duncan. If DeJoy refuses to testify, Schumer said he should be removed from his post.

“Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans cannot continue to ignore the problems DeJoy’s reforms have caused or say a problem does not exist,” he 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.”

The Postal Service has found itself under scrutiny since DeJoy, a major GOP donor and close ally of President Trump, assumed the position of postmaster general in June. In the weeks since he took the helm of the agency, DeJoy has implemented changes designed to save the cash-strapped Postal Service money, such as curtailing overtime, reorganizing the agency’s top ranks and prohibiting postal workers from making extra trips for late-arriving mail.

But the changes have led to delays in mail delivery and a backlog of letters and parcels, leading Democrats and some Republicans to call for DeJoy’s directives to be revoked due to concerns that prescriptions, bills and checks are not being delivered on time.

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