You’re stuck with me forever

Louis DeJoy had a challenging message Wednesday for those who long to see him removed as US Postmaster General: “Get used to me.”

The comment came after Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) asked the embattled chief of the United States Postal Service how long he would remain as Postmaster General – “a long time,” DeJoy responded – during a hearing Wednesday. on the House Oversight Committee.

That exchange was indicative of the entire procedure, which was often hectic, combative, and fueled by outrage from Democratic lawmakers over DeJoy’s handling of the USPS at a time of worsening mail delays and tough questions about the feasibility of long term of service.

DeJoy’s crack to Cooper made the blood of the Democrats boil even more. But he may be right, for now at least: Because the postmaster general is installed by the service’s board of governors, and not the president, it means that President Joe Biden, or Congress, cannot fire Mr. DeJoy even if they wanted to.

His removal would only be possible when Biden fills Democratic vacancies on the USPS Board of Governors, which has the authority to hire and fire postal directors general. Confirming those seats in the Senate will take time, although the Washington Post reported Wednesday that Biden has identified three nominees to move forward.

Meanwhile, however, Democratic lawmakers are working with DeJoy on urgent legislation to reform the agency’s finances and the burden of employee pensions, even as many publicly call for his resignation.

For many Democrats, DeJoy’s performance on Capitol Hill Wednesday can make that balancing act difficult: They found a lot of things they didn’t like not just in what the postmaster general said, but in how he said it.

“I have to say that I don’t think the postmaster gets it,” said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), a member of the Oversight Committee who questioned DeJoy on Wednesday about the agency’s delivery standards. “I think it’s time for him to go.”

“I thought he approached a lot of our questions with exactly the same attitude, which was a mocking condescension,” Krishnamoorthi told The Daily Beast after the hearing, invoking DeJoy’s response to Cooper. “That’s not going to fly, man. I’m not going to fly. “

Wednesday’s hearing was the second time in DeJoy’s short tenure that he has been subjected to high-profile questioning in the House Oversight Committee. Shortly after taking over the top USPS post in June 2020, delays and irregularities quickly began to accumulate, a particularly alarming development for lawmakers on the eve of an election in which more voters than ever planned to vote by mail.


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