Want to make a Trump appointee admit they don’t know simple things they should probably know about the agency they’ve been tasked with helming? Get Katie Porter on the case.
The Orange County congresswoman—whose district includes includes Irvine, Tustin, and Orange—made headlines last year when she asked Housing and Urban Development secretary Ben Carson about real estate-owned properties (aka REOs). Even in the context of a hearing regarding housing, Carson seemed to think Porter wanted to talk about a popular brand of Nabisco sandwich cookies (aka Oreos).
Today, she struck again during Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s testimony before Congress regarding changes made to USPS operations in advance of the November election.
Good news? DeJoy knows how much a first-class stamp costs. Bad news? That’s basically all he knows about postage.
Their exchange went like this:
PORTER: “What is the cost of a first-class postage stamp?”
DEJOY: “55 cents.”
PORTER: “Just wanted to check. What about to mail a postcard?”
DEJOY: “I don’t know.”
PORTER: “You don’t know the cost to mail a postcard?
DEJOY: “I don’t. ”
PORTER: “What if I want to mail a — you said 55 cents for a first-class stamp, but what if it’s one of those greeting cards that’s a square envelope. Then what is the postage?”
DEJOY: “I will submit that I know very little about postage stamps.”
PORTER: “Do you know about, within a million or so, can you tell me how many people voted by mail in the last presidential election?”
DEJOY: “No, I cannot.”
PORTER: “To the nearest 10 million?
DEJOY: “I would be guessing, and I don’t want to guess.”
PORTER: “Okay. So Mr. DeJoy, I am concerned — I’m glad you know the price of a stamp, but I am concerned about your understanding of this agency.”
According to NBC News White House correspondent Geoff Bennett, Porter also pressed DeJoy about recent changes to postal operations that he claims he didn’t order. “Will you commit to reversing the changes?” Porter asked. “No,” DeJoy replied.
MAJOR:@RepKatiePorter : If you did not order these actions to be taken, please tell the committee who did.
DeJoy: I do not know.
Porter: Will you commit to reversing these changes?
DeJoy: No. https://t.co/79KV6vxmrP
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) August 24, 2020
In recent weeks, a number of supposed cost-cutting measures have slowed mail delivery and shaken the public’s faith in the USPS’s ability to handle an onslaught of mail-in ballots during the coming election. DeJoy, a major Trump donor with no previous experience within the postal service, has insisted that he is “not engaged in sabotaging the election.”
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