WASHINGTON – Postmaster General Louis DeJoy unveiled a sweeping overhaul of the nation's mail service, displacing the two top executives overseeing day-to-day operations, according to a reorganization memo released Friday. The shake-up came as congressional Democrats called for an investigation of DeJoy and the cost-cutting measures that have slowed mail delivery and ensnared ballots in recent primary elections.
Twenty-three postal executives were reassigned or displaced, the new organizational chart shows. Analysts say the structure centralizes power around DeJoy, a former logistics executive and major ally of President Donald Trump, and de-emphasizes decades' worth of institutional knowledge.
The reshuffling threatens to heighten tensions between postal officials and lawmakers, who are troubled by delivery delays — the Postal Service banned employees from working overtime and making extra trips to deliver mail — and wary of the Trump administration's influence on the Postal Service as the coronavirus pandemic rages and November's election draws near.
It also adds another layer to DeJoy's disputes with Democratic leaders, who have pushed him to rescind the cost-cutting directives that have caused dayslong backlogs and steady the Postal Service in the run-up to the election. DeJoy clashed with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in a meeting on the issue this week.
Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va., chairman of the House subcommittee responsible for postal oversight, called the reorganization "a deliberate sabotage" to the nation's mail service and a "Trojan horse."
Earlier Friday, congressional Democrats demanded an investigation of DeJoy's cost-cutting initiatives, which postal workers blame for delivery slowdowns.
A letter signed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., and seven other Democrats, including Connolly, urged Postal Service Inspector General Tammy Whitcomb to examine how DeJoy came to implement policies that prohibit postal workers from taking overtime or making extra trips to deliver mail on time, and how such delays specifically affect election mail.