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AOC presses a reluctant Louis DeJoy on conflict of interest, experience, and local issues. Photo: Getty Images
AOC presses a reluctant Louis DeJoy on conflict of interest, experience, and local issues. Photo: Getty Images

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez grills Postmaster DeJoy on widespread issues with USPS

Rep. AOC,took the opportunity to improve accessibility in her district, because no one should be denied access to the service.

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In just a few short months, the U.S. Postal Service has lost its credibility — and it all comes down to new Postmaster Louis DeJoy.

In the 70 days since he assumed the position on June 15, the postal service has found itself enduring huge delays in deliveries, a cutback on overtime, and an overwhelming uncertainty regarding mail-in ballots, medicines, and paycheck deliveries.

Still, “the postal service is fully capable and committed to delivering the nation’s ballots securely and on time,” DeJoy said during a Aug. 24, Congressional Oversight Committee hearing on “Protecting the Timely Delivery of Mail, Medicine, and Mail-in Ballots.”

“Nevertheless, I encourage all Americans who choose to vote by mail to request their ballots early and to vote early, as a common sense best practice,” he continued

DeJoy testified he did not direct the removal of collection boxes or mail processing equipment, cutback hours, or eliminate overtime. 

And while he has suspended these practices, DeJoy said he will not be putting the boxes back. 

He also alleged he directed a team to improve adherence to schedule, and said the USPS had accomplished its goal. 

However the testimony directly contradicts first-hand accounts by both customers and USPS couriers over the past several weeks.

Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) commented on the issues at hand highlighting that in the history of the United States, throughout the Civil War, the Spanish Influenza, World War II and more, such a widespread derailment of the postal service is unprecedented.

“How can one person screw this up in just a few weeks?” he questioned. One, either through gross incompetence, or two, he’s doing it on purpose.

Even when politics are taken out of the picture, the decisions made at the USPS have impacted all Americans, no matter what they believe, where they come from, or who they want to vote for. 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) made this clear by driving the issue home.

 

 

To start, she used her allotted time in questioning DeJoy to highlight his conflict of interest, and inexperience in such a position.

Essentially, DeJoy is a novice. He is the first Postmaster in decades without prior experience at the USPS. As pointed-out by Rep. Katie Porter, Dejoy doesn’t even know the cost of mailing a postcard.

AOC also got DeJoy to concede that he recently had communications with XPO Logistics, a transportation company, of which Dejoy is the former CEO. 

“I probably would have spoken to them,” DeJoy conceded.

But perhaps the most important segment of AOC’s questioning is DeJoy’s calendar. 

Unless it is released, the public will be left scrutinizing the Postmaster General and the entire entity of the USPS without real facts.

These documents could determine whether there is real conflict of interest: When and why did Dejoy meet with President Trump and Steven Mnuchin, among others?

To know this, would be the greatest aid to the case against Dejoy.  

“If we cannot receive them voluntarily, I would recommend consideration of a subpoena,” said AOC.

But she also took the opportunity to bring the issue back to her community in the Bronx. 

She urged Postmaster DeJoy to install a wheelchair ramp at the Historic Jackson Heights Post Office, “so disabled and elderly constituents can get access.”

To AOC, no American should be disenfranchised — something the issues at the USPS have highlighted. Those with disabilities, in need of medicine, have been made to suffer, and postal employees have been overworked. 

The election could be at stake too, but there are a dozen ways how these issues at the USPS are affecting the lives of Americans at this very moment. 

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