Donald Trump made a seemingly endless list of questionable hires over his presidency. One of the more notorious ones was Louis DeJoy, a businessman and Republican Party fundraiser whom Trump appointed as Postmaster General last summer and quickly made a number of controversial moves that slowed down the mail. Upon assuming office, current president Joe Biden fired a lot of Trump staffers, but he hasn’t done the same with DeJoy. And now the head of the post office is looking to make still more awful-sounding changes to how the nation’s mail is delivered.
DeJoy, with the backing of the agency’s bipartisan but Trump-appointed governing board, has discussed plans to eliminate a tier of first-class mail — letters, bills and other envelope-sized correspondence sent to a local address — designated for delivery in two days. Instead, all first-class mail would be lumped into the same three- to five-day window, the current benchmark for nonlocal mail.
That would effectively mean mail delivery that’s not only even slower but also more expensive. And the United States Postal Service under DeJoy is already not doing well: The Post reports that, at the end of 2020, only 38 percent of mail was delivered on time, holding up not only holiday packages and cards but also prescriptions.
Mind you, the changes are not expected to greatly impact local service, but they may affect banks, insures, retailers, and publications. First-class mail also may not be shipped by airplane, forcing everything by delivered by truck.
And then there’s DeJoy’s hope to raise prices for slower service:
The operational shifts would coincide with a push for significantly higher postage rates — which DeJoy has said was “imminent” — after the agency lost $9.2 billion in 2020 due to steep, pandemic-related declines in mail volume. It also has $188.4 billion in liabilities, the bulk of which is tied to pension and retiree health care obligations. Leaders have long sought to raise new revenue and, in 2021, are expected to pursue the first big postage rate increase in more than a decade, which could add up to a 9 percent jump compounded annually.
DeJoy has defended his controversial changes in the past, saying it had to do with keeping the USPS afloat as a business. Others, however, accused him of trying to slow down the mail in the run-up to a national election that was partly done via absentee ballots, some of which had to be mailed in. If so, at least that plan didn’t work out in the end.
When the news hit, a lot of people on social media wondered how DeJoy still has a job.
This is unacceptable. Trump may have left office, but his Postmaster General is still wreaking havoc even after the Congress just provided the Post Office with an additional $10 billion. He must be replaced.https://t.co/SxyiA1IKdX
— Senator Chris Van Hollen (@ChrisVanHollen) February 13, 2021
The obvious choice. Don’t let DeJoy burn it to the ground. USPS needs to be able to do its job. https://t.co/L7fqSXV8G8
— Allen Glines for US Senate and Utah (@AllenBGlines) February 13, 2021
They’ve gotta get DeJoy out of USPS. Republicans are continuing their all out assault on elections from every angle. The attack on the postal service is about dismantling election infrastructure
— Unite in justice for the poor & oppressed (@BreeNewsome) February 13, 2021
I’m receiving Hanukah and Christmas cards just now dejoy needs to be de gone
— ✌🏼rosanna arquette (@RoArquette) February 13, 2021
Biden’s first crisis that he is now responsible for. He must fire DeJoy now or his administration will wear the failure of the post office. DeJoy’s plan is a prescription for death for the PO, which is exactly why trump put him there. https://t.co/GlRRyzXLjz
— Howard Dean (@GovHowardDean) February 13, 2021
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy still has his job, isn't in prison yet, and he plans to slow down the mail and hike the prices.
FIRE HIM and arrest him.
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) February 13, 2021
Every day criminal Louis DeJoy stays in the USPS is yet another chance for him to continue destroying it from within, including expediting plans to slow the mail down even further and spike up prices. The Board of Govs need to all be fired so he can be fired and fully prosecuted.
— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) February 13, 2021
WHY IS DEJOY STILL EMPLOYED. https://t.co/dg7F3pdAl1
— Jess Phoenix 🌋 (@jessphoenix2018) February 13, 2021
Others pointed out that it’s near impossible for Biden to fire DeJoy.
it is described as impossible for Joe Biden to fire Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, because he'd have to either do something his immediate predecessor did with the Supreme Court's blessing or get the people who control Congress to give him the authority. https://t.co/bW8iaubgrv
— 'Weird Alex' Pareene (@pareene) February 13, 2021
dejoy in it for the long haul I guess https://t.co/HOXk2XR0fd
— Tom Tomorrow needs a new bit for the profile (@tomtomorrow) February 13, 2021
Or is it?
Biden aims to fill the #USPS Board of Governors vacancies, "nominating officials who reflect his commitment to the workers of the US Postal Service – who deliver on the post office’s vital universal service obligation," a WH official tells me. Only the Board can replace DeJoy.
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) February 8, 2021