The United States Postal Service will pause operational changes that have drawn public scrutiny in recent weeks in order to avoid the appearance that they're attempting to influence the election, CNBC reported.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced the pause in a statement Tuesday, in which he emphasized that many of the changes that have caused alarm have been planned even before he took over.
"I came to the Postal Service to make changes to secure the success of this organization and its long-term sustainability," DeJoy said in the statement. "I believe significant reforms are essential to that objective, and work toward those reforms will commence after the election. In the meantime, there are some longstanding operational initiatives — efforts that predate my arrival at the Postal Service — that have been raised as areas of concern as the nation prepares to hold an election in the midst of a devastating pandemic. To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded."
DeJoy went on to ensure that post office hours would stay the same, processing equipment and mailboxes would not be moved or removed, and overtime for employees would continue to be paid to help ensure timely delivery.
DeJoy will testify before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Friday and the Democrat-led House Oversight Committee on Monday. But Democrats are still suspicious of DeJoy, who is a Trump donor, despite his statement.
"This is a start. But we still need to reverse all the damage, fully fund @USPS, & investigate DeJoy's conflicts," Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wrote on Twitter. "And we need to keep our eyes on DeJoy so he keeps his promise & doesn't find new ways to dismantle the USPS. I'll be watching DeJoy's actions — not just his words."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday she would call the House back in session from recess early to block USPS changes by DeJoy.
Democrats are seeing tens of billions of dollars in a proposed COVID-19 relief bill for the USPS to bail out the struggling organization and to help with an anticipated increase in mail-in voting this November. President Donald Trump opposes the funding, and has specifically cited his opposition to mail-in voting as a reason.
In July, the USPS warned states that it could not guarantee on-time delivery of mailed ballots based on current deadlines, but those letters were reportedly planned before DeJoy became postmaster general.