United States Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has given another assurance that the postal service will timely deliver ballots sent through it.
He gave a similar assurance before a House of Representatives Committee.
On Friday, DeJoy told a Senate oversight committee that he has not cut Postal Service overtime or made any changes to reduce mail delivery service ahead of the Nov. 3 election.
“The insinuation is, quite frankly, outrageous,” DeJoy, a Trump appointee and a prominent GOP donor, told the panel, which met virtually.
Postal employees and Democrats accuse DeJoy of working with Trump to thwart mail-in balloting.
DeJoy denied the charge, telling Senate lawmakers that he supports mail-in balloting and that the Postal Service is not going to fall short on ensuring the ballots are counted.
“The Postal Service will deliver every ballot and process every ballot in time that it receives,” DeJoy said.
DeJoy’s testimony came three days before House Democrats are set to pass legislation providing $25 billion to the Postal Service, which is deeply in debt and is on course to lose $9 billion this year, according to DeJoy.
The House bill would also block DeJoy from implementing service changes during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Without change,” DeJoy said, “losses will only increase in the years to come.”
DeJoy defended a letter sent from the Postal Service general counsel to 46 states warning that ballots sent out very close to the election may not be postmarked in time.
“This was a very, very well-thought-out effort to safeguard the election and the processing of ballots, not to get in the way,” DeJoy said.
“The general word around here is, ‘Vote early.’”
Democrats and Republicans on the panel cited reports of mail delays, slashed overtime, and mail sorting machines being put out of commission.
DeJoy said he’s halted all of the changes for now.
“We are working here feverishly to get the system running at stability and also to hire more workers to handle the delivery process,” DeJoy said. “We all feel bad about the dip in our service.”
DeJoy said that 99.5% of the time, mail is delivered properly and that the Postal Service is aiming to improve even as personal problems have developed due to the coronavirus outbreak.