Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) claimed on Friday that the uproar over delays at the United States Postal Service were not real but were a Democratic narrative meant to win votes in November.
"There are fundraising emails from Senate candidates, and the Democratic senatorial committee dating back as far as April complaining about this postal issue. So I have no doubt the Democrats are ginning these issues and problems up into something it's not, a very false narrative, as I said, designed to extract a political advantage," Johnson, chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said Friday at a hearing with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.
DeJoy himself admitted at that same hearing, however, that the postal delays were real.
"We had some delays in the mail and our recovery process in this should have been a few days and it's amounted to being a few weeks," DeJoy said, discussing the slowdowns.
"We all feel bad about what the dip in our service level has been," he added later.
Other Senate Republicans on the committee said they too had heard from constituents who have had trouble with mail delays — especially veterans, who have faced long waits for critical medications delivered via the Postal Service.
"I am concerned with the delays that we have seen in Ohio and elsewhere," Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) told DeJoy at the hearing. "We have a number of veterans who contacted us and said they weren't able to get their medication."
8-21-20 Rob Portman from Shareblue Media on Vimeo
Portman told the story of a 70-year-old Vietnam veteran in his district whose inhaler for his COPD was delayed.
"The inhaler refill was mailed through the postal service, due to delays, he ran out of it while waiting for it to arrive," Portman said, recalling the story. "And then his insurance said, 'You know what, we're not going to pay for another refill because it's already been shipped through the Postal Service.' And he can't afford to pay for another emergency refill personally."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.