Reprinted with permission from Alternet
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy was forced to admit he does not know a great deal about the 245-year-old federal agency he was entrusted by Republicans to run – like who ordered the massive changes he is supporting, including cutting overtime, and removing hundreds of mail sorting machines and mailboxes.
Nor was he interested in finding out.
U.S. Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) is known for her devastating questioning of congressional witnesses and did not disappoint Monday, when she questioned the embattled USPS chief.
While he did pass the first test – "What is the cost of a first-class postage stamp?" – DeJoy was unable to answer most of the Congresswoman's other questions, as she noted on Twitter after warning him to come prepared.
Spoiler alert: he did not. https://t.co/uJaqQvcWZK— Rep. Katie Porter (@Rep. Katie Porter)1598298395.0
DeJoy was forced to say, "I don't know," when asked the price to mail a postcard. When she repeated the question, DeJoy laughed with incredulity, as if to suggest he does not believe it is the job of the Postmaster general to know the answers to such basic questions.
"I don't," he repeated. "I'll submit that I know very little about postage stamps."
He also had to say "I don't know" when asked about the rate of USPS Priority Mail. And he answered, "No I cannot," when asked if he could say how many Americans voted by mail in the last presidential election. When asked if he could say "to the nearest 10 million," a smirk came over his face, and he said he would be "guessing," and added that he didn't want to guess.
"OK, so, Mr. DeJoy, I am concerned – I'm glad you know the price of a stamp – but I'm concerned about your understanding of this agency," Porter told the Postmaster General.
And that's when things got very serious.
DeJoy repeatedly refused to commit to resigning if the USPS Inspector General found he had committed misconduct.
"I don't believe they will find misconduct," DeJoy declared, "but I don't see why I would commit here right now to resigning for any reason."
"I'm concerned about your understanding of this agency," Porter told DeJoy. "And I'm particularly concerned about it because you started taking very decisive action when you became Postmaster General, you started directing the unplugging and destroying of machines, changing of employee procedures, and locking of collection boxes."
"As a professor," Rep. Porter explained, "I've always told my students that one of the most important rules in life is to read the instructions. Did you actually read and independently analyze the major overhaul plans, before you ordered them to take effect?"
DeJoy, exuding disrespect for the California Congresswoman, replied, "Again, I will repeat that I did not order major overhaul plans, the items you identify were not directed by me. I did, and didn't do much analysis to get them to run your trucks to my schedule."
"Reclaiming my time Mr. DeJoy," Porter interjected, "Could you please tell me who did order these changes if you as Postmaster General did not," Porter said before DeJoy interrupted her. "If you did not order these actions to be taken. Please tell the committee, the name of who did."
"I do not know," DeJoy once again was forced to admit.
"Mr. DeJoy, did you analyze these plans, before they went into effect?"
"As I've stated numerous times, the plans were in effect and being implemented before I arrived."
He refused to say who had put them into effect.
It's worth watching all of Rep. Katie Porter's questioning. PORTER: You don't know the cost to mail a postcard? DE… https://t.co/MndTzikyec— Kyle Griffin (@Kyle Griffin)1598299501.0
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