• In addition to Warren, the letter was signed by Sens. Gary Peters of Michigan, Tom Carper of Delaware, Ron Wyden of Oregon and Tina Smith of Minnesota, as well as House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney of New York
  • It addition to the delays, the letter asks the IG to investigation DeJoy's holdings in postal service competitors
  • An earlier letter sent by another group of senators demands to know what DeJoy was doing to ensure his cuts do not impede the Nov. 3 election

Democrats on Friday sent a letter to the postal service’s inspector general, seeking an investigation of changes Postmaster General Louis DeJoy imposed recently to try to reduce the agency’s $161 billion debt.

Reports have been mounting of delays in mail delivery since DeJoy, a former logistic executive and major Republican donor, imposed cuts in overtime and ordered carriers not to do any sorting before they hit the streets.

CNN reported the letter asks the inspector general to look into operational changes and their potential impact on the Nov. 3 election. It was signed by Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Gary Peters of Michigan, Tom Carper of Delaware, Ron Wyden of Oregon and Tina Smith of Minnesota, as well as House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney of New York – all Democrats.

The letter to Inspector General Tammy L. Whitcomb charges the newly imposed changes at the postal service have made mail delivery “slower and less reliable,” threatening “the well-being of millions of Americans that rely on the postal service for delivery of Social Security checks, prescriptions and everyday mail of all kinds.” It also asks her to review the financial holdings of DeJoy and his wife, Aldona Wos, who held more than $100 million in investments in postal service competitors, the Washington Post said. DeJoy was supposed to divest those assets before assuming his post.

Lawmakers are concerned the changes could have a negative impact on the delivery of ballots in November when an unprecedented number of Americans are expected to take advantage of mail-in voting to avoid the potential threat of coronavirus infection at crowded polling places.

“Given the ongoing concerns about the adverse impacts of Trump administration policies on the quality and efficiency of the postal service, we ask that you conduct an audit of all operational changes put in place by Mr. DeJoy and other Trump administration officials in 2020,” the letter said.

President Trump has been railing against widespread mail-in voting, charging without evidence that it will lead to fraud and render election results questionable. At the same time, he urged Florida voters to cast mail-in ballots because the state has “a great Republican governor.”

Lawmakers met with DeJoy this week to press the need for on-time delivery and urged him to cut back on his cutbacks. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he doesn’t “fully trust them – with everything Trump has said about the post office – and they’re Trump appointees.”

Last month Democratic senators, including former presidential hopefuls Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Cory Booker of New Jersey, sent a letter to DeJoy demanding he outline plans to make sure the cutbacks do not impede mail-in balloting.

“What is your plan to ensure adequate staffing at all processing facilities to handle election mail, including procedures to reassign mail processing staff and any plans to hire additional staff to accommodate expected increases in election mail volumes, as well as contingencies for sick leave rates due to potential COVID-19 outbreaks?” the senators asked.

The senators’ letter cited problems with mail delivery for several primaries where there were massive increases in the number of absentee ballots cast.

“In states like Georgia, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Wisconsin, the number of mail-in ballots cast increased from less than 10% of total votes cast in the 2016 presidential primary to over 40% and even over 80% of votes cast this year,” the letter said.