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USPS chief Louis DeJoy will testify Friday in Senate as his overhaul of the post office comes under scrutiny

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy (2nd R) arrives for a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on August 5, 2020.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy will testify Friday before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee as lawmakers speak out against his overhaul of the U.S. Postal Service. 

The hearing, which is scheduled for 9 a.m. ET before the Republican-led panel, will mark DeJoy’s first time directly answering questions from Congress about the post office, which has come under intense scrutiny in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election.

“I am pleased to have secured an oversight hearing on Friday with Postmaster General DeJoy in order to address urgent questions on the Postal Service delays that are causing massive disruptions across the country,” said Democratic Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan, the ranking member of the Senate committee, in a statement Tuesday, NBC News reported.

“As Ranking Member on the only Senate Committee with oversight of the Postal Service, I will continue pressing for answers on Mr. DeJoy’s recent directives and their impacts on all Americans, who rely on the Postal Service for prescriptions, running their small businesses, voting and other crucial purposes,” Peters said.

DeJoy’s cost-cutting measures at the ailing government agency, which reportedly include crackdowns on making late delivery trips and cuts to overtime pay, have led to claims of widespread mail delays.

Democrats have raised concerns that the changes made by DeJoy, a major donor to Republicans and committees supporting President Donald Trump‘s reelection, could impact the November election, where the coronavirus pandemic is expected to lead more Americans than ever before to cast their ballots by mail.

Trump has repeatedly railed against so-called universal mail-in voting, claiming without evidence that it will lead to massive fraud and a “rigged” election. He has drawn a distinction between absentee voting – a system he has reportedly utilized as president – and the efforts by some governors to send out ballots to all eligible voters. 

At the White House on Tuesday, Trump claimed widespread mail-in voting will lead to “a disaster the likes of which our country has never seen.”

“It’ll end up being a rigged election or they will never come out with an outcome. They’ll have to do it again,” Trump said. “And nobody wants that, and I don’t want that.”

Polls show Democrats are far more likely than Republicans to vote for president by mail, according to a recent Change Research/CNBC poll of likely voters in battleground states.

Peters was one of seven senators who sent a letter Monday urging the Postal Service’s Board of Governors to reverse DeJoy’s changes to the agency. That letter noted that if DeJoy refuses to cooperate with their proposed reversal, the board has the authority to remove him.

The Senate hearing was scheduled a day after the House Oversight Committee, led by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., announced that DeJoy would testify before her panel Monday, Aug. 24.

Robert Duncan, chairman of the USPS board, which selected DeJoy in May, will also testify before the House committee.

A spokesman for Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, the Republican chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

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