WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testified Friday before senators concerned about reports of delayed mail.
Some Democrats have accused the postmaster of trying to sabotage upcoming elections as many Americans plan to vote by mail.
But DeJoy defended recent changes that led to widespread delivery delays. He says there will be no more changes before the election. However, he says something must be done to balance a bloated budget.
“This year, the Postal Service will report a loss of $9 billion,” DeJoy said.
U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-MI, said his office had received more than 7,500 reports of delays.
Peters said some delays, like shipments of prescription drugs, are dangerous.
“Because of changes you (DeJoy) ordered, her latest refill shipped on July 20, and it took nine days. As a result, she suffered seizures,” Peters said.
DeJoy says he was simply carrying out the needed cuts, identified before he was put in charge of the Postal Service a few months ago.
“Thirty-five thousand blue boxes have been removed over the last 10 years,” he said.
He denied any alleged scheme to steal the election.
“I haven’t talked to the president about the Postal Service,” DeJoy said.
Missouri Republican Senators Josh Hawley and Roy Blunt say Democrats are manufacturing controversy.
“Misinformation over and over again,” Hawley said.
“I’m absolutely sure Democrats are blowing this out of proportion,” Blunt said.
Blunt says he has faith the postmaster will fix delays before the election but says voters must also be proactive.
“If you don’t put your ballot in the mail before Election Day, it’s unlikely it’s going to be there,” Blunt said
DeJoy says the Postal Service can handle this year’s election but recommends voters still send their ballots early.
DeJoy says USPS does have enough resources to get through the election cycle. But he said Congress does need to pass more funding to reimburse the agency.
Peters is requesting DeJoy to send over more internal data to explain policy decisions that have resulted in slashed overtime pay and the removal of mailboxes and mail counting machines immediately.
DeJoy is set to testify before the House Oversight Committee Monday.