WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, during a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), the only member of the Nevada delegation serving on a committee that oversees the U.S. Postal Service, questioned Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on policies that have negatively impacted Americans and their mail delivery. This hearing comes right after Senator Rosen’s meeting with Nevada postal workers. A transcript of her exchange with the Postmaster General can be found below:
A video of the Senator’s full exchange can be found here.
ROSEN: Before I ask some further questions, Postmaster General, I’d like to ask you this. We need transparency and the changes you’ve been making, and in everything that you’ve discussed here today, will you commit to providing this committee with any and all transcripts or minutes of all closed non-public board of governor meetings from this year by this Sunday? Can you commit to that, Sir?
ROSEN: You will not commit to provide minutes.
DEJOY: I don’t have the authority to do some of those things, and that is something that I would need to discuss with council and the Board’s council, so I can’t commit to that.
ROSEN: Well, we’ll be discussing that with you, but let’s move on, we have limited time. Before I go with the rest of my questions, I do want to thank the dedicated postal workers across this nation, particularly in my state of Nevada.
I spoke with many of them yesterday, the majority of them veterans, veterans, and their families. They have done years of dedicated service to this country, to this nation, and they are very concerned.
So Mr. DeJoy, earlier this year you’ve acknowledged you made operational changes to the Postal Service -- removed mail sorting machines, you’ve had reduction, elimination of overtime and late trips. In Las Vegas, when we are expecting mail volume to ramp up soon, our postal workers, the one’s I spoke with yesterday, are reporting the removal of a sorting machine from our General Mail Facility, which is actually right down the street from my house.
As a former programmer and systems analyst, I have a real strong appreciation for the data, so I want to talk about the data that you used to create these policies, what you may have or may not have analyzed to make these changes.
During the pandemic, health officials have directed older Americans to stay at home for their own safety. That means that for our seniors in Nevada and across the country, the Postal Service is the ONLY way that they are going to receive these critical items – from life-saving prescriptions, household supplies, social security checks. For veterans, my colleagues have already mentioned this, it’s a lifeline. 80 percent of veteran’s prescriptions are filled by the United States Postal Service. I have 225,000 veterans in Nevada, many of them relying on this for timely delivery of life-saving medication. And in small towns across Nevada, from Gabbs – who has a population of 269 people – to Schurz – a tribal community with 658 people – to some of my larger rural communities, all they get is the Postal Service.
So please, could you answer yes or no?
Before developing and implementing policy changes since assuming your role this year, did you conduct any specific analysis on how your changes would impact seniors? Yes or no, Sir?
DEJOY: Ma’am, The policy changes that I…
ROSEN: Yes or no, Sir?
DEJOY: …The policy changes that I embarked upon – uh – were not the ones that you identified in your uh…
ROSEN: So you didn’t do any analysis to see how seniors would be impacted. Okay, let’s move on. Did you do an analysis to see how veterans might be impacted knowing, KNOWING that so many of our postal workers are veterans? We employ so many veterans --- that they aren’t getting their medication that they rely on 80 percent. Did you do a specific analysis to see how veterans would be impacted?
DEJOY: The only change that I made Ma’am was that the trucks leave on time. Theoretically, everyone should have got their mail faster.
ROSEN: So, can you look me in the eye and all of the Nevada veterans in the eye and all of the Nevada seniors in the eye, and tell us that you will not continue in the policies in the future that you know will harm my seniors, my veterans here in Nevada, and all of our veterans and seniors across this nation. Can you look us in the eye and commit to being sure that they have on-time delivery?
DEJOY: Well, I’m working towards on-time delivery, yes I can commit to that.
ROSEN: Thank you. So, did you do any analysis about the fees if mail is late, the late fees that people would get when they paid their rent or their car payment or their utility bill if the mail is slowed down, and the impact that those charges and those fees would have on working families? Is there any analysis about the impact of late delivery by you on that, Sir? Yes or no, please.
DEJOY: The analysis that we did was that if we moved the mail on schedule that all late deliveries would have been improved…
ROSEN: Well, obviously, that isn’t the case, so we need to continue this.
DEJOY: … For a variety of reasons, for a variety of reasons.
ROSEN: You know, our deployed servicemembers routinely cast ballots by mail. Did you specifically analyze how your policy changes would impact our servicemen and women across this country and across the globe – how your changes would impact them, Sir?
DEJOY: Senator the pol – the analysis that we did would show that we would improve service to every constituent.
ROSEN: That’s great, so can you provide me, by this Sunday, if I understand you correctly, you have an analysis that will show that this should have improved it, although we are finding out through thousands and thousands of contacts to our office through our connections that it has not been the case. So, this is frankly unacceptable, and I would like to see the analysis that this was based on to our offices by this Sunday. Can you commit to that, Sir?
DEJOY: No Ma’am.
ROSEN: Can you commit to providing it to us at all, Sir?
DEJOY: Uh... I can… I will get back to you on that.
ROSEN: You cannot commit to providing the American people the analysis that you used to base your decisions on about their very important medications, their social security checks, and all the other things, you won’t commit to the American people to be transparent?
DEJOY: Senator, I will go back and get the truck schedule, the analysis that designed the truck schedule that I directed…
ROSEN: Can you commit to transparency, Sir? That’s all I’m asking.
DEJOY: I’m very transparent.
ROSEN: Then, that means that you would provide us your analysis. If you’re transparent, then ergo, that means you will provide us the data that you used to base these important decisions that impact people’s lives. I want you to look in the camera; there are millions of people watching who are impacted every day by what you do, please understand that. And so I want you to commit to the American people, to transparency, and provide us with the data that you used to create these decisions.
DEJOY: Ma’am I do not accept the premise, and I will provide you with the transportations schedule that directed the organization to adhere to. Yes, I will do that.
ROSEN: Well, we appreciate that. I look forward to seeing that. I look forward to having future discussions with you. Thank you.