Axne calls on postmaster general to resign

By: - August 19, 2020 8:37 am
Rep. Cindy Axne

U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne is Democrat who represents Iowa’s 3rd District. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Despite the postmaster general’s announcement Tuesday that he would suspend the much-criticized changes he has been making to the nation’s mail service, U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne says it is time for him to resign.

Axne, a freshman Democrat from Iowa, said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who took the top position at the post office in June, has not explained why he made big changes during his first few weeks on the job that critics say have slowed mail delivery and thrown into doubt the agency’s ability to handle millions of mail-in ballots during the November election.

Head shot of Cindy Axne
U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne is a Democrat who represents Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District.

“The first step toward repairing the Postal Service is the resignation of Louis DeJoy,” Axne told reporters. “While additional funding and operational changes are still necessary to solve this crisis, I have no faith that the current postal service leadership can be trusted to undo the damage.”

She said the changes DeJoy has overseen have had far-reaching consequences for Iowans. People who rely on the mail to deliver their medicines have had to wait longer, and those who have tried to pay their bills now risk late fees and damage to their credit histories because of the slowdown, Axne said.

“Obstructing the right to vote is already illegal, but disenfranchising Iowans in a way that puts the health and security of my constituents at risk is abhorrent and unacceptable. I won’t stand for it,” she said.

“[DeJoy] needs to resign. He isn’t doing our district, this state or this country any favors, and he’s not doing the job that he was put in place to do,” Axne added.

She said the post office’s decision to suspend until after the election many of its recent operational changes would not change her mind, because she doesn’t trust DeJoy’s judgment that led him to try to make those changes in the first place. In fact, she said she hoped more of her colleagues in Congress would call for DeJoy’s resignation.

Before becoming postmaster, DeJoy, of North Carolina, was a major Republican fundraiser and donor. He once ran New Breed Logistics, a logistics company that the post office hired for 25 years to help get packages from third-party fulfillment centers to post office facilities.

New Breed merged with XPO Logistics in 2014, and DeJoy stayed on with the new company for several years.

But when DeJoy took over the post office in June, he ordered several changes that critics say has made mail delivery slower and less reliable.

Under his leadership, the post office has cut back on overtime, phased out mail sorting machines and removed neighborhood drop boxes in many cities.

The U.S. House, which is controlled by Democrats, will reconvene in Washington this weekend to consider legislation to roll back many of the changes DeJoy has overseen. The package is expected to include $25 billion in aid for the agency,


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Daniel C. Vock
Daniel C. Vock

Daniel C. Vock is a correspondent for the States Newsroom Washington, D.C. Bureau.