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USPS inspector general reviewing policy changes by Trump-appointed chief Louis DeJoy

U.S. Postal Service Inspector General Tammy Whitcomb is reviewing recent policy changes and potential conflicts of interest involving Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, at the request of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and other Democrats, CNN reports.

Why it matters: A growing number of lawmakers are sounding the alarm over cost-cutting measures and modifications to mail-processing practices that they fear could delay election mail, disenfranchise voters and delay election results.

  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other House Democratic leaders discussed Saturday the possibility of bringing the House back early to act on what they see as a crisis with the Postal Service, a House Democratic aide confirmed to Axios.
  • DeJoy is slated to appear for a hearing before the House Oversight Committee on Sept. 17, but some lawmakers fear that could be too late.

Detais: A group of Senate Democrats led by Warren wrote a letter to the inspector general last week asking her to look into DeJoy's policy changes, which include eliminating overtime for USPS workers, and whether DeJoy has "met all ethics requirements."

  • DeJoy — a former Trump donor and fundraiser — still owns at least $30 million in equity in his former company, which is a USPS contractor, and recently bought stock options for Amazon, a USPS competitor, CNN first reported Wednesday.
  • A spokesperson for the USPS watchdog confirmed to CNN the office has "initiated a body of work to address the concerns raised, but cannot comment on the details."
  • It is unclear if the inspector general has launched "a full-scale investigation into possible politicization at USPS by DeJoy," or if it is just reviewing the matter for Congress, according to CNN.

What they're saying: A number of Democrats in Washington over the weekend called for DeJoy to step down or appear before lawmakers for a hearing.

  • Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) tweeted:"We need to subpoena the Postmaster General, and if he fails to appear, we should send the Sgt at Arms to arrest him."
  • House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) tweeted: "The Postmaster General must resign. He’s slowed delivery, banned overtime & decommissioned mail-sorting machines.Right before the election. During a pandemic. The House must demand answers. Hearings should start now. It can’t wait. We won’t let Trump destroy the Post Office."
  • Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) tweeted: "Tonight I’ve made a criminal referral to the New Jersey Attorney General asking him to empanel a grand jury to look at subversion of NJ election laws by Donald Trump, Louis DeJoy, and other Trump officials in their accelerating arson of the post office."
  • Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) tweeted: "Enough is enough: the House Oversight Committee, which oversees the U.S. Postal Service, should come back to Washington as soon as possible to hold a public hearing with the Postmaster General."

The other side: President Trump defended DeJoy at a briefing on Saturday, saying he wasn't sure what changes the postmaster general was making but that "he wants to make the post office great again."

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