Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy leaves the Capitol after a meeting on Wednesday, August 5, 2020. (Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Warnings of GOP Attempt to 'Control the Narrative' as Senate Republicans Set Hearing With DeJoy Just Ahead of House Testimony

According to a new analysis of FEC records, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy "has given tens of thousands of dollars to Republican senators up for re-election this November."

Jake Johnson

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson announced Tuesday that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy—a major donor to the GOP—will testify at a virtual Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on Friday, just days ahead of DeJoy's scheduled appearance before the Democrat-controlled House Oversight Committee.

The timing of the planned Senate hearing—and Johnson's stated reasons for inviting DeJoy to testify—immediately sparked concerns that the GOP is attempting preempt the House panel's questioning and put its own spin on the postmaster general's disruptive and possibly illegal changes to the U.S. Postal Service's operations ahead of the November elections.

"Republicans scheduled the hearing with DeJoy before his appearance on Monday at the House hearing clearly to try to control the narrative and say all of his changes were reasonable and in good faith."
—Vanita Gupta, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, warned in a tweet Tuesday that "Senate Republicans scheduled the hearing with DeJoy before his appearance on Monday at the House hearing clearly to try to control the narrative and say all of his changes were reasonable and in good faith."

Under immense pressure from the public and members of Congress to reverse his new policies, DeJoy said in a statement Tuesday that he is "suspending" changes to USPS operations until after the November elections—an announcement that appeared to raise more questions than it answered.

Democratic members of Congress made clear following DeJoy's statement that they still have every intention of questioning his changes during the House Oversight Committee hearing next week.

"Sunshine in the form of public pressure has forced Mr. DeJoy to completely reverse himself. But he cannot put the genie back in the bottle," said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.). "While this is a victory for all voters and every American that relies on the USPS, congressional oversight cannot be interrupted."

"If Mr. DeJoy has nothing to hide," Connolly added, "he will come to Congress with answers to our questions about the service disruptions that have defined his tenure as postmaster general. Accountability is the cornerstone of our democracy."

Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, told Politico that he scheduled the Senate hearing with DeJoy because he "wanted to give the [postmaster general] an opportunity to tell his side of the story before he appeared before a hostile House committee."

In a statement to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Johnson echoed that sentiment, declaring that the "Postal Service has had significant financial problems for years, and it is important for everyone to fully understand its current fiscal challenges."

Johnson did not mention the 2006 mandate signed into law by former President George W. Bush requiring USPS to prefund its retirees' health benefits through 2056—a requirement that no other federal agency is forced to meet.

"The postmaster general should have an opportunity to describe those realities before going before a hostile House committee determined to conduct a show trial," Johnson said.

As the Washington Post reported, the Senate hearing Friday "will be DeJoy's first opportunity to publicly answer lawmakers' questions about the nation's embattled mail service, which is experiencing delays as a result of policies DeJoy implemented cutting overtime and eliminating extra trips to ensure on-time mail delivery."

Johnson, according to the Post, "is expected to press DeJoy on whether the Postal Service truly needs the $25 billion in emergency funding that the House has pushed."

Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), the top Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, vowed in a statement Tuesday to press for "answers on Mr. DeJoy's recent directives and their impacts on all Americans, who rely on the Postal Service for prescriptions, running their small businesses, voting, and other crucial purposes."

Senate Republicans have largely been quiet about DeJoy's sweeping changes to Postal Service operations even as they caused major mail backlogs across the U.S., slowing the delivery of prescription medicines and threatening the timely arrival of mail-in ballots.

As Salon's Roger Sollenberger reported Tuesday, DeJoy—a former logistics executive who was previously in charge of fundraising for the 2020 Republican National Convention in Charlotte—"has given tens of thousands of dollars to Republican senators up for re-election this November."

"FEC records also show that DeJoy regularly maxed out with tens of thousands of annual contributions to the official GOP committees dedicated to electing Republican lawmakers: the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee," Sollenberger wrote.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Buddhist Monk and Peace Activist Thích Nhất Hạnh Dead at 95

"He inspired so many good people to dedicate themselves to working for a more just and compassionate world."

Jessica Corbett ·

Draft Order Shows Trump Considered Using Military to Seize Voting Machines

"This was part of the records that Trump was fighting to keep from the January 6th committee," one government watchdog noted.

Brett Wilkins ·

Groups Warn US Lawmakers Against Fueling 'New Cold War' With China

A policy of hostility toward Beijing, says a global justice advocate, has "become a convenient excuse for pushing a corporate, militarist agenda."

Jessica Corbett ·

Democracy 'On the Line' Says Bowman After Protest Arrest

"I will not stand by and I will not stay quiet while the fate of our democracy continues to hang loosely by a thread that the Senate is hellbent on tearing apart."

Julia Conley ·

To 'Hold Her Accountable for What She Did,' Primary Sinema Project Gets Into Gear

"Kyrsten Sinema is unfit to be a United States senator," the project asserts. "Just like the filibuster itself, we need to get rid of her if we want to save our democracy before it's too late."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo