Postmaster General Louis DeJoy told lawmakers on Monday that the U.S. Postal Service would not undo the cost-cutting moves he instituted earlier this summer to restore mail processing capacity before the November election, sparring with Democrats in a heated hearing before the House Oversight Committee.

DeJoy in July mandated that trucks that transport mail from processing facilities to distribution centers adhere to stricter schedules, leaving mail behind if they were running late or it had yet to be sorted. He also ordered that mail handlers depart for their routes sooner even if mail had not arrived.

Internal Postal Service documents circulated to mid-level managers and obtained by The Washington Post also show DeJoy cracked down on overtime and additional delivery trips to ensure on-time mail service. DeJoy denied in sworn testimony that he issued any such guidance.

Those moves, according to agency employees and postal experts, caused multiday delays in localities across the country, ensnaring ballots in midsummer primary elections, causing food to rot inside packages in Los Angeles and depriving residents in parts of Philadelphia of mail delivery for weeks at a time, among other slowdowns.

DeJoy, former supply chain logistics executive and ally of President Trump, last week suspended some of the Postal Service’s cost-cutting agenda until after the election but told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Friday that many other policies would remain in place, including the ban on extra mail trips and the early transportation schedule. He also said the nearly 700 high-speed mail sorting machines that had been removed across the country in recent months would not be reinstalled; neither would dozens of blue collection boxes.

That drew pointed — and at times personal — criticism from Democrats, many of whom have called for DeJoy’s resignation.

“What the heck are you doing?” asked Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (Mass.) after a five-minute lecture on the history on the Postal Service.

“Is your backup plan to be pardoned, like Roger Stone?” Rep. Jim Cooper (Tenn.) asked.

Rep. Ro Khanna (Calif.) asked DeJoy if he could recite the Postal Service’s unofficial motto. DeJoy stumbled through part of it. “Nor rain, nor snow, that sleet nor hail will make our delivery,” he said.

Rep. Katie Porter (Calif.) asked DeJoy if he knew the price of multiple routine postage items. The only two he could name were the cost of a first-class stamp (55 cents) and the weight limit for priority mail (70 pounds).

“Mr. DeJoy, I'm concerned,” she said. “I'm glad you know the price of a stamp, but I'm concerned about your understanding of this agency.”

Republicans rushed to DeJoy’s defense. Rep. James Comer (Ky.), the committee’s top Republican, called the debate over the Postal Service a “hysterical frenzy.”

“Why are they out to get you?” asked Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio).

“I have no idea,” DeJoy replied.

The postmaster general swung back at times.

“It’s my time now,” he chided Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) as he pushed to answer a question. “Is it my time?”

“No, no,” Wasserman Schultz replied. “It’s always my time.”

In response to Khanna’s question about turning sorting machines back on, DeJoy dismissively said. “In Washington, it makes plenty of sense. To me, it makes none.”

Committee Chair Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) scheduled the emergency hearing — and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the chamber back to order — after Trump on Aug. 12, said he’d withhold funding from the Postal Service to hobble its ability to distribute and collect mailed ballots. Days later, The Washington Post reported that the Postal Service warned 46 states their vote-by-mail requirements were “incongruous” with mail service, and that millions of Americans risked not having their votes counted. Images also began to spread online of postal workers removing mailboxes.

DeJoy told Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.) that he contacted people close to Trump or his reelection campaign to ask that he stop discussing the Postal Service, as the president’s remarks harmed the agency.

“I have put word around to different people that this is not helpful to the Postal Service,” DeJoy said.

Democrats over the weekend pushed Maloney’s Delivering For America Act through the House, which would provide the Postal Service with $25 billion in emergency funding, fulfilling a request from the agency’s bipartisan governing board, and bar DeJoy from making any service or operational changes until the end of the pandemic.

The GOP-controlled Senate is unlikely to take up the bill.

House Democrats repeatedly pressed DeJoy to roll back the changes himself. In a five-minute monologue, Lynch told DeJoy, “You have ended a once proud tradition” of reliable mail delivery. As DeJoy began to respond, Lynch cut in, “Will you put the machines back?”

“The rest of your accusations are actually outrageous,” DeJoy said.

“Will you put the machines back?” Lynch asked again.

“I will not,” DeJoy said.

He told Rep. Harley Rouda that the Postal Service’s operations department, the leaders of which DeJoy removed in an executive realignment on Aug. 7, was responsible for the decision to draw down processing capacity.

“There must be a reason. I didn’t do it,” DeJoy said.

Khanna said to DeJoy: If Congress approved $1 billion in funding, would he restore the machines if only to improve voters’ confidence in the Postal Service?

“Get me the billion and I’ll put the machines in,” DeJoy said.

Wasserman Schultz cited machines from postal processing plants in her district that postal workers told her they want restored. During the hearing, she projected a photograph of one machine with its power cord dangling from the ceiling. Would DeJoy authorize plant managers to turn machines back on if local authorities think they are needed?

“We have a management team that is responsible for making decisions as to what machines are used and not used,” DeJoy said.

“But those things are decided locally,” Wasserman Schultz responded, as Republican members of the committee argued that she had exceeded her time. “Will you let them decide that locally?”

“No,” DeJoy said.

He and the Postal Service also face lawsuits from 21 state attorneys general who allege that DeJoy did not have legal authority to change policies as he did without first consulting the Postal Regulatory Commission.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who is leading the suit, said DeJoy’s appearances before the House and Senate committees did not provide clarity about the operational changes.

“His words cause confusion, not clarity, and are simply not enough,” Shapiro said in an interview Monday afternoon after the hearing. “We need guarantees from him that he’s going to follow the law, and so far, he’s failed to meet that bar.”

Shapiro said he is seeking written assurances that DeJoy will halt operational changes such as limiting the amount of time workers can spend sorting and picking up mail, and others that have led to nationwide delays in mail delivery.

“What I wanted him to do was agree to a binding agreement that says no future changes, as well as a binding agreement that rolls back the illegal changes he’s already made, and issue a binding statement that treats election mail with the proper priority — and he failed to do all of those things,” Shapiro said.

When asked about DeJoy’s Senate testimony on Friday assuring the public that the Postal Service will continue to prioritize election mail as it had in the past, Shapiro said DeJoy’s words are not binding: “What I’ve learned — and I have sued the president two dozen times — is you cannot trust the president or his enablers.”

“The concerns are the mail changes he’s made, slowing down prescriptions for veterans, slowing down billings and payments for small businesses, and slowing down election mail,” he said.

“I want him to roll back his illegal changes, allow the mail to flow as expeditiously as it was before, and assure us in a legally binding agreement that election mail will be prioritized as it has been historically,” Shapiro added. “And until he does those concrete things, I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to his rhetoric.”

Democrats also pressed DeJoy, and Postal Service Board of Governors Chairman Robert M. Duncan, about the selection process through which DeJoy was appointed, and the Postal Service’s independence from the White House.

Under questioning from Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), DeJoy said he did not solicit the position of postmaster general and did not consult Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin until after he received the offer. DeJoy said he was contacted by the executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates about the role. Duncan said DeJoy entered the selection process after the chairman submitted his name to Russell Reynolds.

“I talked to [Mnuchin] about the job after I received the offer,” DeJoy said. “I did not accept the offer immediately, okay.”

“I had a perfectly good life prior to this,” he added. “But I was interested in helping, and I was called by Russell Reynolds out of the blue.”

DeJoy defends himself and stewardship of Postal Service in nearly six-hour hearing

8:20 p.m.
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During nearly six hours of testimony Monday before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, DeJoy portrayed the Postal Service as an unwieldy bureaucracy badly in need of reform.

In several instances he blamed middle management for changes that happened under his watch -- or even for taking steps he didn’t even know about.

“Are you certain that no one was cutting back on overtime?” Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) asked DeJoy at one point.

“No, I’m not certain. That’s part of the problem at the Postal Service,” DeJoy responded.

The hearing concluded without any major new revelations.

As he did in testimony before the Senate last week, DeJoy defended the changes he’s put in place since taking over the agency in mid-June -- while insisting that he was not responsible for the most controversial developments, including reduction of overtime and dismantling of some mail-sorting machines.

He was pressed several times to re-install the machines, but said that was unnecessary.

DeJoy acknowledged that his move to redirect truck schedules so they depart on time contributed to some mail delays, but insisted he was getting things back on track.

And DeJoy frostily rejected suggestions from Democrats that he was doing the bidding of President Trump or anyone in his administration in order to slow down the delivery of election materials in a way that could help Trump’s re-election.

“I am not engaged in sabotaging the election,” DeJoy said.

DeJoy, a major GOP donor and former corporate executive, also acknowledged his lack of familiarity with certain aspects of the postal delivery system. Under questioning from Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) he correctly identified the cost of a first-class stamp -- 55 cents -- but couldn’t tell her how much it cost to mail a post card or square greeting card.

“I’ll submit that I know very little about postage stamps,” DeJoy said.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez asks DeJoy to hand over calendars

7:35 p.m.
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) asked DeJoy to provide the committee access to his calendar from the date when he started as postmaster general in mid-June.

DeJoy balked at the request, telling Ocasio-Cortez: “I don’t know. I’ll check with counsel. … I don’t want to set a precedent for my calendar to be submitted every two months.”

Ocasio-Cortez told DeJoy that the calendar was a public record and, turning to Maloney (D-N.Y.), suggested that the committee might have to subpoena it.

“Madam Chairwoman, I would say, you know, the details of this calendar are extraordinarily important to the committee’s investigations,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “And if we cannot receive them voluntarily, I would recommend consideration of a subpoena for these details.”

Ocasio-Cortez asked DeJoy specific questions about his calendar, including whether he’d had any meetings with XPO Logistics, his former company.

DeJoy said that he hadn’t but that he had spoken casually with friends at the company.

Ocasio-Cortez asked DeJoy if he or staff had made any deletions to his calendar since he took office. He said he didn’t think so.

She also asked whether ethics officers were reviewing his calendar. DeJoy said his meetings were reviewed by ethics officials.

Ocasio-Cortez closed her questioning by bringing up a local issue: She said she had been writing the agency to try to get a ramp installed at the Jackson Heights post office in her district that includes part of Queens. Her time expired before DeJoy could respond to that.

Rep. Pressley questions DeJoy over hiring freeze and allegations raised against logistics company

7:32 p.m.
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Under questioning by Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), DeJoy confirmed that he is pushing a hiring freeze for management and early retirement of employees. In addition, 83 employees have so far died due to the coronavirus, DeJoy said.

DeJoy rejected Pressley’s claim that the hiring freeze and early retirement would lead to greater delays in mail delivery.

“Isn’t it true that pursuing a hiring freeze and early retirement when your workforce is already stretched thin by coronavirus would exacerbate delays in the mail?” she asked.

“No, no, no, no,” he said.

In questioning Board of Governors Chairman Robert M. Duncan, Pressley raised issues with the background check conducted by an external firm in hiring DeJoy, saying she disagreed with his appointment in light of employee complaints about his former logistics company. She pointed to the $1.5 million awarded in U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit against his company, and allegations of discrimination by pregnant employees.

Rep. Lawrence, former letter carrier, urges DeJoy to beware of changes that add ‘fuel to the fire’ of politicization concerns

7:09 p.m.
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During her questioning, Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.), a former letter carrier, urged DeJoy to understand the impact of his policies on carriers and their delivery rotations, telling him that a pilot initiative he implemented does not improve the delivery of mail as intended.

Lawrence first described her career with the Postal Service, starting out as a distribution clerk, then becoming a letter carrier, supervisor over the delivery process, equal employment opportunity investigator, and a member of a task force to monitor and track mail delivery.

“As a supervisor of delivery, I know what it took to remove post office boxes, called a collection box. It’s not a blue box; it’s a collection box,” she said.

Lawrence asked DeJoy about a new program that went into effect last month, the Expedited to Street/Afternoon Sortation initiative, which was intended to adjust for declines in mail delivery by reducing the amount of time that carriers spend to sort and pick up mail, so that they can be on the street earlier than usual to begin delivery.

But this schedule change, according to multiple postal workers interviewed by The Washington Post, contributed to mail delivery backlogs that unfolded over the past several weeks because the employees do not have enough time to sort the mail to allow for a more seamless delivery process.

Lawrence explained to DeJoy that logistically, the initiative could lead to greater delays for carriers. Even if the volume of mail is low, a carrier must stop at every house if the piece of mail they are delivering that day is an advertisement that gets delivered to every home, she noted.

“I really stress that you do use some deliberate work to understand the impact that it has. ... Regardless of the volume, if you’re making the same amount of stops, you’re not going to shorten the time. And so when you do that, the carrier is going to be out basically the same amount of time," she said. "And so when they come back, you’re delaying the mail. We have, I have complaints in my office from people getting delivery one day a week.”

Lawrence warned DeJoy of such initiatives that could add “fuel to the fire” of questions about politicization of the mail delivery service amid attacks by President Trump.

“I want you to know that you have an oath of office, and I expect for you, and the American people expect for you, to uphold it,” she said.

DeJoy defends sale of Amazon stock

6:54 p.m.
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Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) questioned DeJoy about his sale of Amazon stock shortly after assuming his role as postmaster general in mid-June.

DeJoy said that he was going to attend a meeting related to Amazon, but was informed that he’d have to recuse himself from reviewing a number of contracts unless he got rid of his stock in the company.

Speier said DeJoy’s financial disclosure forms indicated that he’d sold his Amazon stock but purchased stock options, which she described as a conflict of interest.

DeJoy denied that, saying that it was a financial transaction called a “covered call” and that he’d actually lost money in the process of ridding himself of all his stock in the company.

“I had to pay more money for the calls than I sold them for. I think you should get an understanding of what a covered call is before you accuse me of any improprieties,” DeJoy chided Speier — who moved on to another topic.

A covered call is a type of financial transaction that someone employs when they don’t think a stock price will move markedly up or down in the short term and so they effectively sell short-term call options on the investment to other purchasers.

Amazon has been a frequent target of criticism from President Trump. The president repeatedly has argued that Amazon costs the Postal Service billions of dollars in potential revenue, even though officials have explained to him that Amazon’s contracts with the Postal Service are profitable for the agency.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.

DeJoy predicts postal deficit of at least $10 billion this year

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Under questioning from Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.), DeJoy said the Postal Service “will probably lose 10 or 11 billion dollars this year,” a figure that is not likely to be affected by the volume of absentee ballots cast during the election.

That figure continues a trend of increasing deficits since 2017, when the USPS posted $2.7 billion in losses. But it would be smaller than the record loss of $15.9 billion, set in 2012.

DeJoy noted that the USPS also has “$12 billion in liabilities that need to be paid some time over the next six months,” out of the agency’s total bill of $135 billion in liabilities.

The agency recently reached an agreement with the Treasury Department on $10 billion in borrowing authority authorized by the Cares Act.

This Saturday, 26 House Republicans joined Democrats in approving an additional $25 billion in USPS funding. The bill also prohibits any additional operational changes at the Postal Service. The Senate has no plans to act on the bill unless it is part of a broader covid relief bill, and the White House has threatened a veto.

Many of the agency’s financial woes stem from a 2006 bill, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which was passed when the USPS was posting annual profits. The rosy fiscal future envisioned by that legislation did not come to pass.

DeJoy adamant he will not allow mail-sorting machines to be reconnected

6:10 p.m.
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Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) jousted with DeJoy on the Postal Service’s removal of mail-sorting machines, accusing DeJoy of assigning responsibility to local leaders to determine processing capacity but refusing to allow them to reinstall machines that the agency plans to dismantle.

In an earlier exchange with Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (D-Mass.), DeJoy forcefully declared he would not allow postal workers to replace the close to 700 sorting machines — more than 10 percent of the Postal Service’s inventory — that the agency has removed in recent months. He also said under questioning from Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Calif.) that the determination to remove machines was made by the Postal Service’s operations department and by local managers.

“There must be a reason. I didn’t do it,” DeJoy said.

Wasserman Schultz accused DeJoy of “not being honest with the committee” about the machine removals, arguing that he was “hiding” plans for their disposal “while removing them at a breakneck pace.”

Wasserman Schultz said Postal Service staffers briefed the committee on Aug. 4, saying “you’d be moving machines around to where they were needed most,” without mentioning completely removing machines. On Aug. 11, she said, the Postal Service’s general counsel wrote to the committee without mentioning machine removals, and on Aug. 14, she said, her office was told that capacity was being expanded at the Royal Palm processing facility in South Florida and that machines would not be removed.

“It was only after I spoke with local postal workers that I was told about the [Flat Sequencing System] machine at Royal Palm, which has been shut down and roped off since July,” she said. “Press outlets finally revealed the internal plan to remove more than 600-plus sorting machines. You were not transparent. We had to get it from news reports.”

Wasserman Schultz asked DeJoy whether he knew of any managers who had requested to reconnect mail-sorting machines.

“How would I know that?” DeJoy responded.

“You’re in charge,” Wasserman Schultz shot back. She displayed an image moments later of a bar code sorter machine at a Florida facility that was unplugged but remained in place, saying postal workers were not authorized to plug it back in.

“Do you believe that it is the local handlers’ job to decide whether they need a sorting machine?” Wasserman Schultz asked. “And will you give them the freedom to plug the machines back in and bring machines that haven’t been taken apart back online in order to make sure we can get the mail out on time, which you acknowledge has gotten worse since your arrival?”

“That was a long list of accusations,” DeJoy said, but Wasserman Schultz cut in.

“No, I just want a simple answer to the question,” she said.

DeJoy interrupted. “Well it’s my time now,” he said. “Is it my time?”

“No, no,” Wasserman Schultz said. “It’s always my time. And I’d like an answer to the question.”

“We have a management team that is responsible for making decisions as to what machines are used and not used,” DeJoy said.

“But those things are decided locally,” Wasserman Schultz responded, as Republican members of the committee argued that she had exceeded her time. “Will you let them decide that locally?”

“No,” DeJoy said.

DeJoy says he’ll have to get back to lawmakers on plan for on-time ballot delivery

5:44 p.m.
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Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) asked DeJoy whether he had a plan to ensure on-time delivery of mail-in ballots.

“I need to get back to you,” DeJoy replied. “If there is a plan that we, that we can, I mean — it’s normal processing procedures plus enhanced processing procedures around an election. I can probably give you some type of summarized objectives that we’ll try, that we’ll try to fulfill.”

Khanna and DeJoy also had a heated exchange about the dismantling of mail-sorting machines that has happened since DeJoy took office in June. DeJoy insisted throughout the hearing that this was not done at his initiative — but he also refused to agree to put the machines back.

He scoffed when Khanna asked whether he would put the machines back in operation if Congress got him the money to do so. DeJoy noted that Congress had not been able to agree to any funding for the Postal Service.

“What is the harm in putting these machines [back], even if the machines in your perspective don’t do anything?” Khanna asked. “What is the harm to do it till Election Day?”

“In Washington it makes plenty sense. To me it makes none,” DeJoy replied.

“You haven’t explained why,” Khanna said.

“Because they’re not needed. That’s why,” DeJoy retorted.

“But if it will restore people’s faith in a democracy and avoid a polarized electorate?” Khanna asked.

DeJoy finally said, “Get me the billion and I’ll put the machines in.”

“Okay. Well, that’s a commitment,” Khanna said. “We’ll find a way to get you the money.”

Khanna also asked DeJoy to recite the unofficial motto of the Postal Service, which is: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

DeJoy stumbled through it in part. “Nor rain, nor snow, that sleet nor hail will make our delivery,” he said.

Republican congressman raises concerns about potential political activity by postal workers and unions

5:24 p.m.
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Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) raised concerns about unlawful political activity of postal workers as outlined in a 2017 report by an independent federal investigative agency, and asked DeJoy to ensure postal employees do not violate federal laws prohibiting them from participating in politics on the job.

In 2017, the Office of Special Counsel found that an “agencywide corrective” was necessary to rein in the political activity of one of the postal employee unions, the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Last week, the top Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform asked the Office of Special Counsel to help make sure that postal workers are not unlawfully participating in politics while they are delivering the mail, underscoring heightened sensitivities over the role of the Postal Service and its employees ahead of the November elections.

DeJoy said he would review the status of recommendations laid out in the 2017 OSC report and update the committee.

“You know, there is no question in my mind that the vast majority of USPS workers are our faithful workers. They’re honest, dedicated public servants,” Hice said. “That being said, what the OSC has identified is without question many cases of political bias.”

When asked whether he has concerns about the political views of his employees, DeJoy said: “I respect everybody’s right to support candidates and donate to candidates. I’ve done so myself for 20 years. So in my mind, it doesn’t raise any awareness on the concern with regard to postal workers and their initiatives.”

The Office of Special Counsel investigates and prosecutes government and political corruption, and is a separate agency from the Justice Department special counsel’s office.

Rep. Krishnamoorthi digs into Duncan’s partisan past

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Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) highlighted Duncan’s lengthy history in Republican politics and asked him whether he still believed the accusations of Democratic voter fraud he made during the 2008 election while working as the chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Krishnamoorthi noted that Duncan serves on the board of two Republican super PACs — the Senate Leadership Fund and American Crossroads.

The congressman also highlighted that Duncan’s USPS bio touts how, as RNC chair from 2007 to 2009, he “raised an unprecedented $428 million and grew the donor base to 1.8 million — more donors than at any time in RNC history.”

Krishnamoorthi asked Duncan whether he still believed a number of statements he made while RNC chair. In 2008, Duncan emailed party members to accuse Democrats of “trying to pad their totals at ballot boxes across the country with votes from voters that do not exist.”

Duncan responded, “I have no knowledge of that.”

In November of that year, during the recount of a close Senate race in Minnesota, he wrote in a fundraising letter that “the Obama-Biden Democrats and their liberal special interest allies are trying to steal these election victories from Republicans.”

Those comments are similar to more recent remarks by Trump, who has made numerous misleading and unfounded accusations about voting by mail in the 2020 presidential election.

Duncan said, however, “I don’t believe anyone at this point who is a nominee of the major parties is trying to steal the election.”

DeJoy says he did not consult Mnuchin about postmaster general job until after he received the offer

4:43 p.m.
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Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is questioned by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) about his contacts with the Trump campaign. (Reuters)

DeJoy said he did not solicit the offer to become postmaster general and did not consult Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin until after he received the offer.

In response to questions from Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) about Mnuchin’s role in DeJoy’s selection, the postmaster general said he was contacted by the executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates about the role.

“I talked to him about the job after I received the offer,” DeJoy said. “I did not accept the offer immediately, okay.”

When Raskin asked whether Mnuchin had solicited DeJoy’s interest in the role during the search process, DeJoy said he did not express interest in the job. He said media reports that he had consulted Mnuchin prior to being offered the role were inaccurate.

“I did not know I had an interest,” DeJoy said. “I had a perfectly good life prior to this. But I was interested in helping, and I was called by Russell Reynolds out of the blue.”

DeJoy splits with Trump, says ‘the Postal Service is not a joke’

4:42 p.m.
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Louis DeJoy made a pronounced split with President Trump declaring, “the Postal Service is not a joke.”

Trump in March threatened to veto an early round of coronavirus pandemic spending — a bill worth $2 trillion that included money for increased unemployment benefits, small business loans and money for the paycheck protection program — if it had any direct aid to the Postal Service.

He said in April he would continue to block funding for the Postal Service unless it raised package prices 400 percent, a tactic experts say was aimed at Amazon, whose founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.

Trump also called the Postal Service “a joke,” and falsely claimed it lost money on last-mile deliveries conducted for private-sector competitors.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) began his questioning by asking DeJoy, “President Trump called the post office a joke. Is it a joke?”

“The Postal Service is not a joke,” DeJoy said.

DeJoy appears to blame previous operations executives for delays in delivery of prescriptions

4:30 p.m.
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When asked if new delivery policies were studied to prevent prescription medications from sitting in a backlog, DeJoy appeared to cast responsibility for any holdups on executive staff, namely the agency’s former delivery and operations team.

DeJoy reorganized the Postal Service earlier in August in a move that shuffled 33 members of its executive leadership team. Among the largest shifts were the reassignment of its chief operating officer David E. Williams to the new role of executive vice president and chief logistics and processing operations officer. His top deputy, Kevin McAdams, the vice president of delivery and retail operations and a 40-year USPS veteran, was not listed on a new organization chart. The Postal Service did not respond to requests for comment on his employment status.

The structure displaced postal executives with decades of experience, moving some to new positions and others out of leadership roles entirely, including McAdams, Williams and chief commerce and business solutions officer Jacqueline Krage Strako, who previously held the title of executive vice president and chief customer and marketing officer.

The changes worried postal analysts, who said DeJoy’s restructuring has recast the nation’s mail service as a for-profit arm of the government, rather than an essential service.

And as DeJoy testified on the implementation of his plan and delays it may have caused, he appeared to blame the previous operations staff.

“We have a whole operating organization that I asked to put together a plan,” DeJoy told Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-Mo). “And it wasn’t a change. It was to comply with your schedules, and when we could comply with our schedules. I reviewed this with every regional area VP on a discussion that they were ready and they rolled it out. I’m not the COO; I’m the CEO of the organization. But I have received commitment that we would be able to roll forward with the plan on to committing to our existing schedule.”

Rep. Jordan says Democrats are attacking DeJoy to deny Trump a second term

4:26 p.m.
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While questioning the Postmaster General, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said Democrats "want to be counting votes six weeks after the election." (Reuters)

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) accused Democrats of a political campaign against DeJoy aimed at sowing confusion to deny President Trump a second term.

Jordan tried to draw DeJoy out on why Democrats were attacking him over mail delays on his watch. People have also protested outside DeJoy’s home.

“Why are they out to get you?” Jordan asked.

“I have no idea,” DeJoy replied.

Jordan proceeded to answer his own question.

“Might it be politics? Might it be, might it be the election coming up?” Jordan asked.

Jordan referenced election result delays that have occurred in several races around the country -- including the primary race won by the committee chairwoman, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.).

Maloney was declared victorious after six weeks of delays caused in part by a huge torrent of absentee ballots resulting from the coronavirus panedemic.

“We all know what this is about. This about these guys wanting chaos and confusion ... they know on election night President Trump’s gonna win … and they want to keep counting,” said Jordan.

DeJoy did not comment on Jordan’s version of events, but said, “I don’t know what motivates people to have different opinions of me.”