Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has agreed to testify before the Senate and the House amid criticism of operational changes he’s made that have slowed down mail across the country, CNN reports.
Democrats on the House Oversight Committee announced on Monday that DeJoy, a top Trump and Republican Party donor, will testify before the panel on August 24. His testimony had previously been scheduled for next month.
The move came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called members back early from summer recess to consider an emergency bill that would reverse changes made under DeJoy.
"The Postal Service is a pillar of our democracy, enshrined in the Constitution and essential for providing critical services: delivering prescriptions, Social Security benefits, paychecks, tax returns and absentee ballots to millions of Americans, including in our most remote communities," Pelosi said in a letter to lawmakers. "Alarmingly, across the nation, we see the devastating effects of the President's campaign to sabotage the election by manipulating the Postal Service to disenfranchise voters."
Senate GOP calls first dibs:
A day after House Democrats announced their hearing, the Republican-led Senate called first dibs on DeJoy’s testimony, scheduling his appearance before the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee for Friday.
Michigan Sen. Gary Peters, the top Democrat on the Committee, had pushed Republican Chairman Ron Johnson to call a hearing on the matter as Peters leads his own investigation into the changes.
Johnson said DeJoy should have a chance to explain himself before facing a "hostile House committee determined to conduct a show trial."
"I look forward to Postmaster General DeJoy testifying at our virtual hearing this Friday. The Postal Service has had significant financial problems for years, and it is important for everyone to fully understand its current fiscal challenges," Johnson said.
DeJoy acknowledges “unintended consequences”:
DeJoy defended the operational changes in a letter to USPS employees last week but admitted there have been “unintended consequences.”
"Unfortunately, this transformative initiative has had unintended consequences that impacted our overall service levels," he wrote. "However, recent changes are not the only contributing factors. Over the years we have grown undisciplined in our mail and package processing schedules, causing an increase in delayed mail between processing facilities and delivery units."