Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies just about in entrance of Senate panel on Aug. 21st, 2020.

CNBC

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, underneath hearth for his modifications to the U.S. Postal Service forward of the 2020 election, stated Friday that there aren’t any plans to reinstall mail-sorting machines which have lately been removed from service.

“There’s no intention to do that, they’re not needed, sir,” DeJoy stated when requested by Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., whether or not the machines removed underneath his watch can be introduced back.

The remarks got here at a digital listening to earlier than the Republican-majority Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the place DeJoy confronted a grilling from Democrats who questioned his overhaul of the federal government company.

Since DeJoy began his position in mid-June, the USPS has been suffering from reviews of widespread mail delays, which postal staff’ advocates have attributed on to the cost-cutting modifications put in place by the previous provide chain CEO.

Those modifications reportedly embrace cracking down on late supply journeys and additional time for staff. Critics have additionally raised considerations amid reports of mail-sorting machines across the country being removed from services.

Lawmakers from each events have known as on DeJoy to reverse the modifications. Democrats particularly have raised alarms that the mail delays may influence the 2020 presidential election in November, the place the coronavirus pandemic is predicted to immediate extra Americans than ever to vote by mail.

President Donald Trump in latest months has often tried to sow doubt in regards to the safety of widespread mail-in voting, claiming with out proof that the efforts in some states to broaden entry to voting by mail will result in large quantities of fraud.

DeJoy, a serious donor to Republicans and committees supporting Trump’s reelection, admitted within the listening to that “certainly there was a slowdown in the mail when our production did not meet the schedule.” But he maintained that USPS will be capable to deal with an inflow in election mail within the fall. 

He additionally pushed back on the conspiracy idea that his modifications on the company have been politically motivated with the intention to enhance Trump’s probabilities towards Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Recent polls present Democrats are much more probably than Republicans to solid their ballots for president by mail.

In ready remarks, DeJoy stated “a false narrative has developed” that his modifications on the publish workplace “are somehow designed to harm the ability of voters to use the mail to vote.”

In the listening to, DeJoy reiterated that lots of the modifications underneath probably the most intense scrutiny at USPS predated his tenure. He stated that he has applied simply two main modifications since taking on: working throughout the company to search out methods to enhance operations, and reducing back on late deliveries.

He additionally stated that the removing of mail-sorting machines and mail assortment receptacles – often known as “blue boxes” – is a “normal process” that has been round for years.

DeJoy had assured in an announcement Tuesday that “mail processing equipment and blue collection boxes will remain where they are” till after the 2020 election.

At the listening to Friday, DeJoy testified that “since my arrival we removed about 700 collection boxes, of which I had no idea that that was a process.”

“When I found out about it,” he stated, “we looked at the excitement it was creating so I decided to stop it and we’ll pick it up after the election.”

He likewise stated that he was “unaware” of the method of eradicating mail-sorting machines.

“It’s been around for a couple of years now. We evaluate our machine capacity,” Dejoy stated. “The mail volume is dropping very rapidly especially during the Covid crisis, and package volume is growing … we really are moving these machines out to make room to process packages.”

“This has been going in every election year, in every year for that matter,” DeJoy added.