According to a report by The Washington Post, leaders of the Democratic party announced on Sunday that they will hold an "urgent" hearing on the recent changes to the U.S. Postal Service later this month. The House Oversight Committee has called the hearing to investigate possible White House interference in the USPS and, by extension, the 2020 presidential election. New Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is among those invited to testify.
The hearing is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 24 — well ahead of the U.S. Congress' previous plans to hold a hearing in September. In calling it, Democrats reportedly alleged that DeJoy is taking steps to intentionally cause dysfunction in the American mail system, which could upset the election either logistically or in terms of public confidence. Other witnesses called to testify include the Postal Severice board of governors Chairman Robert M. Duncan. Democrats note that DeJoy is a former Republican National Committee chairman and a substantial donor to Trump's previous campaign.
🚨 BREAKING 🚨August 16, 2020
"The Postmaster General and top Postal Service leadership 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," came a joint statement from Democratic leaders. That included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Oversight Chair Carolyn B. Maloney and Sen. Gary Peters.
DeJoy was appointed to his position in June, as many states were preparing to increase their mail-in voting capacity to account for the coronavirus pandemic. Since taking office, he has cut back on overtime hours and banned postal workers from making extra trips to ensure on-time mail delivery. He has also cut post office hours, taken mail sorting machines offline and removed mail collection boxes from cities across the country.
The result has been a massive backlog of undelivered mail, to the detriment of small businesses and customers with limited options. It has also kept Americans from getting checks in the mail, timely bills and even prescription medication.
All the while, Trump has raged against mail-in voting on social media, despite the overwhelming evidence that the process is as safe as in-person polling. Political scientist Edie Goldberg wrote an op-ed for Market Watch, debunking many of Trump's biggest claims about mail-in voting security.
Like many other analysts, Goldenberg pointed out that the opposition to mail-in voting typically comes from Republicans, and is related to the fear that mail-in voting will allow a greater voter turnout in general, since Americans who are busy, unable to travel or unable to find child care can suddenly cast their ballot on their own schedule rather than trudging out to a poll. This, most agree, would be a good thing for a fair Democratic election.