Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday urged President Joe Biden to immediately request the resignation of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, citing the Republican megadonor’s ongoing “sabotage” of the U.S. Postal Service and potential conflicts of interest.
“We need a postmaster general who will strengthen and expand the Postal Service.”
In a statement, Sanders (I-Vt.) argued that “by any objective measure, Louis DeJoy, a top campaign contributor of Donald Trump, has been, by far and away, the worst postmaster general in the modern history of America.”
Since DeJoy took charge of the USPS in 2020, Sanders said, “the quality of the Postal Service has been severely undermined”—a criticism that other lawmakers and advocates have leveled over the past year and a half as the postmaster general has rushed ahead with sweeping changes to mail operations nationwide.
“Tragically, the situation has only gotten worse since Mr. DeJoy began implementing his disastrous 10-year plan to substantially slow down mail delivery, cut back on post office hours, shut down mail processing plants, and dismantle mail sorting machines,” the Vermont senator said Thursday. “Senior citizens have experienced massive delays in receiving the lifesaving prescription drugs they desperately need and working families have been forced to pay late fees because it is taking much longer than normal for the Postal Service to mail their bills.”
Sanders went on to warn that the Biden administration’s newly announced plan to distribute 500 million free at-home coronavirus tests could be undercut by “the deterioration of the Postal Service under Mr. DeJoy.”
“How can anyone have confidence that these life-saving tests will be delivered to the American people in a timely and efficient manner? I think the obvious answer to that question is they cannot,” said Sanders. “The United States Postal Service is a vital part of our economy and our way of life. We need a postmaster general who will strengthen and expand the Postal Service, not someone who continues to undermine and sabotage it. It is long past time for Mr. DeJoy to go.”
Sanders’ demand came weeks after Biden moved to replace Ron Bloom and John Barger, two DeJoy loyalists on the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors—the body with the power to remove the postmaster general.
If the Senate confirms Biden’s nominees to replace Bloom and Barger, the president’s picks will have a majority on the nine-member postal board and enough votes to oust DeJoy, who is reportedly under FBI investigation in connection to his past fundraising activities.
Despite the firestorm of criticism he’s received over his performance as postmaster general and alleged financial conflicts, DeJoy has previously said he has no intention of leaving his position any time soon.
Asked during a February congressional hearing how long he plans to remain postmaster general, DeJoy responded: “A long time. Get used to me.”