In the past few days, Democrats have responded rapidly to Trump’s stated plan to sabotage the United States Postal Service in order to severely limit mail-in voting during the pandemic election. On Monday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi recalled the House from its August vacation to vote on a bill to freeze the Trump administration’s changes at the USPS — which resulted in an agency memo to 46 states warning that ballots cast in November may not arrive in time to be counted — until the beginning of next year.
While the bill is not expected to pass the Republican-controlled Senate, Democrats did schedule a hearing with postmaster general and Trump megadonor Louis DeJoy, who agreed on Monday to testify before the House Oversight Committee on August 24, according to a report from Politico. “The American people want their mail, medicines, and mail-in ballots delivered in a timely way, and they certainly do not want drastic changes and delays in the midst of a global pandemic just months before the election,” House Oversight chairwoman Carolyn Maloney said in a statement on Monday, which was her deadline for DeJoy to respond to the request for testimony.
Maloney is one of the House’s more effective questioners, and the testimony is expected to be contentious: The New York representative, who authored the bill to delay USPS changes, has already called for a House Oversight investigation into DeJoy’s tenure at the agency, where he came on as an outsider in May. In addition to the Trump appointee’s orders to remove sorting machines and mailboxes, Republican lawmakers have also blocked an additional $25 billion in funding for the agency designed to keep it operating properly through the election.
House Democrats beyond the Oversight Committee are also considering action. While representatives Peter DeFazio and Alma Adams have called for DeJoy to resign, Ted Lieu and Hakeem Jeffries have requested that the FBI open a criminal inquiry into the postmaster’s actions. “Multiple media investigations show that Postmaster DeJoy and the Board of Governors have retarded the passage of mail,” the representatives wrote on Monday in a letter to FBI director Christopher Wray. “If their intent in doing so was to affect mail-in balloting or was motivated by personal financial reasons, then they likely committed crimes.”