Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington on Thursday reiterated its call for the ouster of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, the Republican megadonor accused of attempting to sabotage the U.S. Postal Service last year as millions of Americans relied on the agency to participate in the presidential election.
As the House Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee held a confirmation hearing for President Joe Biden’s three nominees to the USPS Board of Governors, CREW tweeted numerous times that DeJoy must be dismissed and replaced promptly due to his actions last year and his so-called “Delivering for America” program, proposed last month.
“Save the US Postal Service. Fire Louis DeJoy,” the group later tweeted.
“If you want to save the USPS,” it added, “you have to fire Louis DeJoy.”
Under “Delivering for America”—denounced by Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) as a “pathetic 10-year plan to weaken USPS,” DeJoy would raise prices, cut administrative costs, and slow down deliveries.
Biden’s three nominees—Ron Stroman, Anton Hajjar, and Amber McReynolds—said in the hearing that they would prioritize reliable mail service and took “veiled shots” at “Delivering for America”—but declined to say that they would oust DeJoy, even though the appointment of all three would give Biden and the Democrats a 5-4 majority and control of the board of governors for the first time since 2016.
Board Chairman Ron A. Bloom, a former Obama administration official, and member Lee Moak are the only Democrats on the board of governors, but both have expressed reluctance to dismiss DeJoy.
“The board of governors believes the postmaster general, in very difficult circumstances, is doing a good job,” Bloom told lawmakers in February.
As the Washington Post reported Thursday, members of Congress have been discussing with Biden administration officials the possibility of the president declining to nominate Bloom for a second term, to get rid of what critics have called “an enabler” of DeJoy.
“There’s a growing number of people who say, maybe you don’t need to fire all the board, but you need to be able to create a majority to fire DeJoy,” a House aide told the Post. “And there’s another group saying, when we get enough Democrats on the board, that will be enough to maybe slow down some of the things DeJoy is doing.”
Meanwhile, Moak’s refusal to discuss his position on DeJoy has angered Democrats including Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), whose office corresponded with Moak in January in what became an “acrimonious” exchange.
“The congressman is deeply disconcerted by the destruction and degradation of USPS over the course of the past year by Postmaster General DeJoy and the public silence of the Board of Governors in the face of it,” wrote Pascrell’s office. “To that end, an additional question we’d appreciate you clearing up for us tomorrow: will you move to fire Postmaster General DeJoy for his arson, and if not, why not?”
Moak declined to answer the question and wrote to the congressman, “If you spent more time working to solve problems than create them perhaps we would be further along.”
“Good luck tomorrow—you will need it,” he added. Moak told the Post he was referring to an upcoming conversation he expected to have with the congressman, but Pascrell on Thursday accused Moak of sending him “unhinged messages and threats.”
“I was the first to call for the postal board to go because rebuilding USPS starts with removing and replacing the failed leadership at the top,” Pascrell told the Post. “The exchange from this board member only proves my point. The entire board and then Mr. DeJoy should be handed their walking papers. Their unquestioning support for this postmaster general is unacceptable.”