House Republicans opened an investigative hearing into the U.S. Postal Service by whining that embattled postmaster general Louis DeJoy was the victim of "insane, rabid" attacks.
The House Oversight Committee grilled former President Donald Trump's appointee about changes he made last year that led to widespread delays in delivery that complicated mail-in voting in a pandemic year -- but GOP lawmakers complained that Democrats were only trying to score cheap political points.
"Let's remember what Mr. DeJoy actually did with the postal service," said Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA). "First, he removed the blue boxes, drop boxes. But in so doing an attempt to sabotage the election? Absolutely not. It's a routine process. In fact, over the past couple of decades approximately 35,000 of these drop boxes have been removed and some 12,000 under President Obama's watch. We didn't hear anything about it then. It's only when Mr. DeJoy continues the process of scaling down."
Hice then claimed the postmaster general removed mail sorting machines because they took up too much room and reduced overtime to cut costs, all of which are continuing to cause delays, and the lawmaker said the changes were necessary.
"If that much overtime is in part of the operating procedures and yes, then there's a serious problem with overtime," Hice said. "Now perhaps all of this that I am saying is water under the bridge at this point. I certainly hope so."
Hice then suggested Democrats only cared about the changes to the postal service because DeJoy was a major Republican donor, and he claimed the postmaster general deserved better treatment.
"If moving blue boxes and mail sorters and trying to bring sanity to overtime usage is somehow viewed as criminal activity by the postmaster, then what in the world is going happen with the business plan he comes up with, and what is any postmaster general, be it Mr. DeJoy or someone else going to do to try to ride the ship of postal service," Hice said. "I'll be very much interested in hearing questions answered. We've got to get input and deal seriously with him reform issues get beyond nonsensical, insane, rabid rhetoric that is been coming for the past year, and I hope will be able to do that."
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