Count on Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to make even the simplest of asks a back-and-forth exchange ending in the threat of a subpoena during his opportunity Monday to defend himself against accusations he is intentionally causing mail delays in the U.S. Postal Service. In that vein, DeJoy volunteered to appear before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, but when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asked the ally of President Donald Trump to turn over his calendar, that spirit of transparency quickly left him.
The New York legislator asked DeJoy to submit his calendar dating back to June 16 to the committee, and DeJoy responded: “I don’t know. I’ll check with counsel. I don’t want to set a precedence for my calendar to be submitted every two months.”
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So Ocasio-Cortez asked again. “Well according to regulations that we currently have, electronic calendars that are submitted and maintained on USPS computers are agency records,” she said, “and so can we get your commitment to hand that calendar over to this committee as a matter, of course, for investigation?”
DeJoy again responded: “I’m new to this. If that is in fact a process that counsel says I must comply with then I will do that yes.”
— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) August 24, 2020
Ocasio-Cortez then directed her attention to Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney. “Madame chairwoman, I would say the details of this calendar are extraordinarily important to the committee’s investigations, and if we can not receive them voluntarily, I would recommend consideration of a subpoena for these details,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
She also used DeJoy’s presence before her to advocate for her district and get a wheelchair ramp installed in a majority-Hispanic community’s post office. “Now lastly and selfishly, I represent New York’s 14th congressional district. We have written the agency several times regarding accessibility for a ramp in our historic Jackson Heights post office, and I would greatly appreciate a returned correspondence to make sure that we can ensure that our disabled and elderly constituents can get access to the post office. Thank you very much. I yield my time.”
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez just urged Postmaster DeJoy to install a wheelchair ramp in the Jackson Heights USPS.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) August 24, 2020