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Image: Rep. Katie Porter questions Postmaster General Louis DeJoy during the House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing in Washington
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy listens to questions from Rep. Katie Porter during the House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Aug. 24, 2020.Tom Williams / Pool via Reuters file

DeJoy unveils new USPS plan, sparks immediate pushback

A key House Democrat said she's "extremely concerned about the Postal Service's unacceptable decision to make permanent slower mail delivery."


Postmaster General Louis DeJoy appeared on Capitol Hill last month for a hearing, at which the former Republican fundraiser brushed off most questions regarding his future plans for the United States Postal Service. DeJoy said at the time that his long-term blueprint was still taking shape, but it wasn't yet ready.

Now it is. NBC News reported yesterday:

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy unveiled his 10-year strategic plan for the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service on Tuesday, which includes higher postage rates, some slower services and reduced post office hours aimed at cutting red ink.

Some of the details of the blueprint remain murky, but the plan includes shifts away from using airplanes to expedite first-class deliveries, price hikes for mail and packages, and reduced hours at some post offices.

DeJoy's 10-year vision isn't entirely made up of cutbacks -- he plans to expand seven-day package deliveries, for example -- but this did not stop the postmaster general's detractors on Capitol Hill from responding poorly to his blueprint.

House Oversight and Reform Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., said she was "extremely concerned about the Postal Service's unacceptable decision to make permanent slower mail delivery." The plan "should not be implemented until Congress and the American people have the opportunity to fully review it and provide substantive feedback," Maloney said.

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who serves on the same committee, argued that DeJoy's plan "guarantees the death spiral of the United States Postal Service."

As for why President Joe Biden hasn't fired DeJoy, as we've discussed before, he can't. The USPS's board of governors could choose a new postmaster general, but the board is currently dominated by Republican appointees, which means DeJoy's job is safe, at least for the time being.

Indeed, the Trump-appointed USPS chief seemed to use relative job security to taunt his critics a bit at last month's congressional hearing. When Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) asked DeJoy how long he intended to remain in his position, the postmaster general replied, "A long time. Get used to me."

That confidence may be misplaced. The president recently nominated three new members for the USPS board, and if confirmed, they would give Democrats a majority. Those officials could, in theory, oust DeJoy and give Biden an opportunity to choose a successor.

That said, the Senate confirmation process is often frustratingly slow, and as NBC News' report concluded yesterday, the Postal Service will begin implementing DeJoy's plan in the meantime.