Postmaster General Louis DeJoy didn’t discuss pausing changes to U.S. Postal Service operations with President Donald Trump, the White House says.
“They haven’t talked. The president and the postmaster general have not spoken,” White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters on Aug. 19 in Washington. “The postmaster general did that on his own. That was an independent decision that was made by the postmaster general and the Board of Governors, which is their governing body.”
DeJoy announced Aug. 18 that the agency won’t carry out some planned changes until after the presidential election is over.
The pause is “to avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail,” said DeJoy, a Trump donor who was appointed by the USPS Board of Governors.
USPS, an independent agency, is facing insolvency next year without dramatic changes or an infusion of money from Congress, officials say.
Democrats want to appropriate $25 billion for the Postal Service in the next stimulus package, which is being negotiated with Republicans and the White House. They accused Trump of trying to sabotage the election, after DeJoy recently announced a range of alterations in the way USPS does business, including shifting at least 20 officials into new roles.
“Our financial position is dire, stemming from substantial declines in mail volume, a broken business model, and a management strategy that has not adequately addressed these issues,” DeJoy told the Board of Governors on Aug. 7. “Without dramatic change, there is no end in sight, and we face an impending liquidity crisis.”
Trump has defended DeJoy, telling reporters over the weekend: “The steps that he’s taking are trying to stop the tremendous losses that have taken place for many many years. He’s trying to streamline the post office and make it great again.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) welcomed the pause, but said some of the planned changes are moving forward.
“This pause only halts a limited number of the Postmaster’s changes, does not reverse damage already done, and alone is not enough to ensure voters will not be disenfranchised by the President this fall,” she said in a statement on Aug. 18.
DeJoy is scheduled to appear before Congress on Aug. 24.