Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Friday, aiming to reassure Democrats and Americans who are concerned that the U.S. Postal Service may not be able to deliver their mail-in ballots in time for the presidential election.
DeJoy’s testimony in the Senate comes ahead of what is expected to be a fiery hearing for the postmaster general on Monday before the House Oversight Committee amid the controversy over the security of mail-in voting and changes that DeJoy has made in his short tenure as postmaster general.
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Here’s what you need to know about Louis DeJoy:
DeJoy became postmaster general this summer
DeJoy was appointed as postmaster general in early May, after the USPS Board of Governors unanimously voted him to the post. He took on his post in mid-June.
DeJoy’s appointment sparked controversy over his Republican connections and past donations to President Trump.
DeJoy is a Republican donor
DeJoy’s appointment as postmaster general was controversial, due to his ties to the Republican Party.
According to reports, DeJoy was a potential candidate to be tapped as the finance chairman of the Republican National Committee in 2018. He had previously served as deputy finance chairman.
DeJoy hosted a fundraiser for the president and the RNC in 2017 at his home in North Carolina.
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DeJoy began making changes to USPS upon assuming his post
DeJoy, upon taking on his position as postmaster general, began implementing new measures, like banning overtime and extra trips to deliver mail, in an effort to reduce costs.
The measures, according to reports, slowed the mail delivery service. DeJoy addressed those delays earlier this month, saying that they were “unintended consequences” of updated changes that he said would make the USPS better.
DeJoy reversed his changes, under pressure
Amid criticism from Democrats, DeJoy, last week, announced that planned USPS operational changes, which were sparking fears of delayed mail deliveries, would be postponed until after the election.
“To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded,” DeJoy said in a statement.
He continued: “Retail hours at post offices will not change. Mail processing equipment and blue collection boxes will remain where they are. No mail processing facilities will be closed. And we reassert that overtime has, and will continue to be, approved as needed.”
DeJoy also said in the statement that USPS would expand its task force on election mail that works with state and local election officials.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.