And in another sign of Mnuchin’s involvement in the postal service, the finance minister received briefings from the USPS Board of Governors to discuss the appointment of DeJoy as general of the postal service earlier this year, a source familiar with the matter said. told CNN, for an incorrect stipulation that it did not happen in past appointments.
In heated discussions with DeJoy on Wednesday, Democrats called on the postal service to repeal the cut, which has already delayed mail, months before the November election. Sumer said on CNN on Thursday that Democrats were calling on DeJoy “to withdraw these redundancies and staff so that all mail could be delivered on election day.”
“We pushed it. It should be 1
As another sign of discord, two members of the Postal Board have resigned in recent months before DeJoy took over, for reasons including the Trump administration’s efforts to control the finances and operations of the postal service, according to a source and a Democrat. who is talking to one of the former board members. All members of the Board of Governors have already been appointed by Trump.
“That’s the problem, he’s sending a message … You can’t trust the mail,” said reporter Mike Quigley, an Illinois Democrat who chairs the U.S. subcommittee on appropriations. “Someone outside would say that the man does it because the president doesn’t like the mail, he doesn’t want to encourage the mail, and using the postmaster general is one way to do that.”
As a postal general, DeJoy focused on the need to control the postal service’s red ink, saying in a statement last week that he had plans to “improve operational efficiency and further control overtime costs.” But in letters to Congress, the postal service distanced itself from service cuts and overtime, saying a memo describing them did not come from the postal service headquarters.
Democrats insisted on giving $ 25 billion to the postal service over three years to keep its operations afloat and protect mail voting, but the White House opposed the effort. Democrats paid $ 10 billion a year during talks with Mnuchin and White House chief Mark Meadows – talks involving DeJoy on Wednesday, a sign of the importance of the issue of bigger stimulus talks.
Trump has repeatedly attacked both the postal service and the postal vote, falsely claiming that the post office election was ripe with fraud. He told Fox News on Monday morning that “the Post Office will never be equipped to handle it” after his campaign filed a lawsuit to stop Nevada from sending ballots to all voters.
Trump has also long accused the postal service of losing money because of the price it charges for package delivery – and cited Amazon and its founder, Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post, another common target of Trump’s rage.
The finance ministry declined to comment on Mnuchin’s involvement in the postal service or the briefings he received. A postal service statement on the Treasury loan states that providing information about the contract is confirmation that “the Treasury has been designated by Congress as the lender for the postal service and therefore has a legitimate interest in certain circumstances in understanding those factors. which affect our current and projected financial condition. “
Board members resign
DeJoy, the former executive director of logistics at New Breed, which was a USPS contractor, began his new role in mid-June. His election came after two members of the Board of Governors left: Deputy General of the Post Ronald Stroman resigned on June 1, and David Williams left the board a month earlier.
Both former board members have expressed concerns about the Treasury’s involvement in the USPS.
A source familiar with the matter said Stroman resigned in June because of the Trump administration’s efforts to control the USPS, which he said threatened the service’s independence.
Reporter Gary Connolly, chairman of the subcommittee on managing government home surveillance operations, said Williams spoke with several members of Congress after his resignation over concerns about the Ministry of Finance’s influence over the postal service. The Virginia Democrat said he told Williams, a former USPS inspector general and also appointed Obama, that he was interested in testifying before Congress about what he witnessed.
According to a summary published by Democrats in Congress, the $ 10 billion loan includes a requirement for the USPS to provide copies of its 10 largest “negotiated negotiation services” to the Treasury Department. This condition on own information would include the postal service’s main contracts with companies such as Amazon – a company that Trump insisted would have to pay more to the postal service to deliver its packages.
Carolyn Maloney, chairman of the supervisory board, and other Democrats charged for the loan terms “would appropriately place the Treasury in the internal operations of the postal service, using burdensome loan terms.”
In April, Trump said he would not give up additional funding for the postal service unless he increased delivery prices.
“The efficiency of our operations”
DeJoy is a major Republican donor and has raised funds for Trump at his North Carolina home in 2017. His wife, Aldona Wass, has been nominated for the next U.S. ambassador to Canada.
Records from Wos earlier this year revealed potential financial conflicts of interest, including participation in a UPS competitor of the USPS. The disclosure also revealed tens of millions of dollars in shares of shipping logistics company XPO, which acquired DeJoy’s former company, New Breed, in 2014. The postmaster general is not required to dispose of any specific assets as required. Instead, “the General Postal Officer may be required to deposit an asset if a conflict of interest arises and the Postal Service determines that his involvement in the matter is so decisive that he may not deprive himself”, according to Title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978. A USPS spokesman says DeJoy has complied with all requirements.
After taking office in June, DeJoy turned to the finances of the postal service – the Postal Service warned it could run out of money before the end of the year – and in the process angered lawmakers and some industry stakeholders. His election has raised fears that he may try to privatize the postal service, a long-standing conservative goal.
Last month, a note about the postal service, which indicated delayed and additional excursions for delivery and overtime, were no longer allowed, caused concern in the postal industry. The note explaining the changes could save $ 200 million, noting that it can be difficult for employees to “see the mail left over, or the mail on the floor or the docks in the study …” which it is not typical. “
In letters to lawmakers, the USPS adviser general said the note did not come from the post office headquarters and should not be “treated as official statements of the postal services policy.” However, the July letters confirmed that the USPS was “taking immediate steps to increase operational efficiency by re-emphasizing existing operational plans”.
And a statement issued by DeJoy following news announcements about the note, focusing on the long-term need for a “vigorous focus on the efficiency of our operations.”
A source who has spent 32 years in the postal industry and works closely with the US Postal Service said the changes were made without the cooperation of the industry, calling the lack of communication “alarming”.
Instead of an official announcement, the main customers found out about the changes only due to leaks from postal workers. These customers, who rely on the USPS for timely delivery of their products, were caught on alert and experienced days of delay.
“There are many formal and informal forms and processes through which the postal service can and often shares information about its plan with its customers or people who represent its customers, which has not really happened here,” the source said.
And a source in the postal industry, working closely with the postal service, accepted a problem with Congress, calling it “absolutely reprehensible” to accuse it of “some lower-level official in the field.”
“We’re trying to get more answers”
Democrats say the extra funding they are seeking in the next round of stimulus talks would help stop service outages before the election, but they failed to try to get DeJoy on board until his meeting with Sumer and Pelosi – because lawmakers they say he does not return their calls.
Sen. Tom Carper, a Democrat from Delaware, told CNN that he spoke to DeJ when he was first elected to greet him. Since then, DeJoy has not responded to his work.
“I am really concerned when the postmaster general in this country cannot find time to return my calls, the calls of many other senators and members of the House who know a few things on this issue are interested in this issue. And he can “I won’t find the time,” Carper said.
“We’re trying to get more answers,” said Sen. Gary Peters, the Senate Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, who is chairing the letter in the Senate. On Thursday, Peters announced that he was launching an investigation into delays in the USPS service.
Connolly said he had not yet heard DeJoy live, although the Home Oversight Committee invited him to testify next month. Connolly said he did not know what action DeJoy had taken directly, but said he had heard “widespread messages” anecdotally about service cuts – and was concerned that this was a prelude to mail voting problems in November.
“It is our concern that the new postmaster general is deliberately sabotaging postal delivery so that they can say, ‘God, we are sorry that the ballots did not arrive on time or we will have to delay delivery’ from this massive influx of ballots due to non-payment.” of overtime because we have strict rules about the quantity that is delivered and the vehicles that deliver it, “Connoli said.
Kate Trafekant, CNN, Ali Zaslav, Manu Raju and Kristen Holmes contributed to this story.