Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) on Wednesday ludicrously faulted the recent slowdown in post office deliveries on the antifa and Black Lives Matter movements, claiming that the destruction of property during last year’s summer protests was the actual cause of current United States Postal Service issues.
The House Oversight and Reform Committee held a hearing on Wednesday to look into the continuing delays in delivering the mail, grilling Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on plans and strategies for reversing the trend. Democrats, meanwhile, have called for the ouster of DeJoy, who was appointed by then-President Donald Trump last year.
Since DeJoy was made postmaster general, the USPS has been besieged with delivery service shortcomings, something Democrats have suggested was purposeful on DeJoy’s part during last year’s election in an effort to appease Trump, who obsessively railed against mail-in voting throughout the campaign. The former president, in fact, even openly acknowledged last August that he was starving the USPS of cash to make processing the pandemic-related surge of mail-in ballots more difficult.
Biggs, a Trump loyalist who was reportedly involved with organizing the “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded last month’s Capitol insurrection, used his time on Wednesday to blame the mail delays solely on the racial-justice protests that emerged after the police killing of George Floyd.
“I want to discuss some of the 2020 events that affected the postal service’s ability to deliver the mail in a timely fashion,” he noted. “And, no, they don’t have to do with COVID-19.”
“Last year, my Democratic colleagues turned a blind eye to nationwide mayhem, destruction, rioting, and looting conducted by Black Lives Matter and antifa activists,” the far-right lawmaker continued. “Many businesses and government agencies—including the postal service—saw their entities burn and operations halted because of the persistent, violent riots.”
He went on to cite a handful of instances in which post office locations were damaged or burglarized to make his case that left-wing protesters were apparently the root cause of the ongoing mail delivery delays.
Contrary to the congressman’s claims, only two post office buildings were burned down during the George Floyd protests, months before mail slowdowns began, as Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel noted.
The postal service delays began after DeJoy implemented a series of sweeping changes ostensibly to cut costs last July. Included among the widely criticized moves he enacted were scheduling mandates on mail trucks, ordering mail handlers to depart routes sooner even if mail hadn’t yet arrived, a crackdown on overtime, and the removal of hundreds of high-speed mail sorting machines.