The current controversy enveloping the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) shows why the postmaster general should be confirmed by Congress like a Cabinet official, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., argued Wednesday on “Bill Hemmer Reports.”
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has come under heightened scrutiny in recent weeks after he announced operational changes to the USPS earlier this month. On Tuesday, DeJoy said any changes would be held until after the election following outcry from Democrats and liberals who claimed the alterations would negatively impact Americans’ ability to vote by mail in November.
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Currently, the postmaster general is chosen by the USPS Board of Governors, whose members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The USPS has been an independent executive agency since 1971.
“The thing I’m saying is, it’s awful funny that basically all of this is being done in a period of time when Mr. DeJoy just came in,” Manchin told host Bill Hemmer.
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In a statement Tuesday, Manchin said DeJoy’s decision to hold off on any changes until after November is “a step in the right direction, but actions speak louder than words.
“The Postal Service must immediately reinstate all critical machines and equipment that have been idled or removed from operation since Mr. DeJoy’s tenure began and extend this moratorium on major changes through the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes no closures of post offices, no reduction in hours, and the continued treatment of election mail as first-class mail,” he added.
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“We all know that if the American people and members of Congress had not pushed back on these unacceptable changes, the Administration would have continued on as they have been. I’m not done fighting to make sure every American and West Virginian receives their medicine, their Social Security benefits, and yes, their election ballots.”
“The Post Office is basically the only thing that we have as a lifeline to so many people, especially in rural America, all of rural West Virginia,” Manchin explained to Hemmer. “It’s a lifeline. It’s where your medicine comes. It’s where your checks come. It’s where your communications come. Everybody doesn’t have broadband, high-speed interconnectivity. So, it is basically our lifeline.”