Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) had five minutes to question President Donald Trump’s hand-picked Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Monday afternoon, and she didn’t waste a second of it.
The congresswoman’s first question seemed like a softball. “What is the cost of a first-class postage stamp?” she asked. DeJoy got that one right by answering $0.55, but it went downhill fast from there.
He didn’t know how much it cost to send a postcard or a square envelope. Laughing uncomfortably, DeJoy admitted, “I will submit that I know very little about postage and stamps.”
After DeJoy failed to answer a few more basic inquiries about the agency he runs, Porter got to a more salient question. “Do you know, about within a million or so, can you tell me how many people voted by mail in the last presidential election?” she asked. When DeJoy said he could not, she gave him the chance to answer “to the nearest 10 million.”
“I would be guessing and I don’t want to guess,” he eventually replied.
“OK, so Mr. DeJoy, I am concerned,” Porter said. “I’m glad you know the price of a stamp, but I am concerned about your understanding of this agency. And I am particularly concerned about it because you started taking very decisive action when you became postmaster general. You started directing the unplugging and destroying of machines, changing of employee procedures, and locking of collection boxes.”
After another contentious back and forth, DeJoy then claimed that he does not know who implemented the overhauls outlined by Porter, telling her, “The plans were in effect and being implemented before I arrived.”
“But Mr. DeJoy, do you take responsibility for these changes?” Porter asked.
“I take responsibility from the day I sat in the seat for any service deterioration that has occurred,” he said. But he would not commit to reversing the changes that have occurred, nor would he commit to resigning from his post if an inspector general finds that he has committed “misconduct” with regard to his financial interests in companies that are in direct competition with the agency he heads.
“You don’t think there's any reason that you should ever resign?” Porter asked.
“No reason that I’ve heard here today,” he answered.