WASHINGTON — Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who has come under fire for his continuing financial ties to a company that does business with the Postal Service, received $1.2 million to $7 million in income last year from that firm, according to financial disclosure forms reviewed by The New York Times.
DeJoy continues to hold $25 million to $50 million in that company, XPO Logistics, where he served as the chief executive until 2015 and was a board member until 2018. Documents filed with the Office of Government Ethics show that DeJoy also received millions of dollars in rental payments from XPO through leasing agreements at buildings that he owns.
The revelations are likely to further fuel scrutiny of DeJoy, a major donor to President Donald Trump who has made a series of cost-cutting moves and other changes at the Postal Service that Democrats warn are aimed at undermining the 2020 election. DeJoy agreed Monday to testify before the House Oversight Committee next week, and Democrats are expected to press him on the justification behind his new policies and question his potential conflicts of interest.
XPO, a $16 billion logistics and transportation company, assists the Postal Service during busy shipping periods, such as around the holidays, moving bulk shipments of packages from fulfillment centers and taking them to local Postal Service centers so mail carriers can deliver them to residences.
Reports filed by XPO to the Securities and Exchange Commission show the company paid DeJoy $1.86 million in rent in 2018. DeJoy reported to the Office of Government Ethics — which requires government officials to provide a range of income, rather than a specific amount — that he stood to earn $1.2 million to $7 million from the arrangements.
DeJoy has insisted that he has fully complied with federal ethics rules and maintained that the new measures he has put in place are necessary to modernize the Postal Service.
“I take my ethical obligations seriously, and I have done what is necessary to ensure that I am and will remain in compliance with those obligations,” DeJoy said in a statement.
As part of their broader push to accelerate their oversight of DeJoy and his agency, House lawmakers are expected to return Saturday to vote on legislation to provide the Postal Service with $25 billion in emergency funding and reverse the changes he has made since taking charge in May, according to two people familiar with the legislation, who asked for anonymity to disclose details of unfinished legislation. The bill is also expected to prevent any policy changes until Jan. 1, 2021, or until the end of the pandemic.
The vote poses a challenge for politically vulnerable House Republicans. They will have to decide whether to break with Trump, who has continued a near-daily assault on voting by mail, and support emergency aid for the beleaguered post office after negotiators failed to reach an agreement on a broader coronavirus relief package.
Trump, who has long criticized the Postal Service, complained about the hearing Monday because it coincided with the opening day of the Republican National Convention, declaring that Democrats “are always playing games.”
“GET TOUGH REPUBLICANS!!!” he said on Twitter.“It’s not only unrealistic, it’s unnecessary,” Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, told reporters aboard Air Force One. “This is not a funding issue as much as it is a long-term reform issue.”
Meadows said the president was “willing to provide money for the post office as long as it is included in some other skinny measure if we cannot agree to a larger deal.”
“We’re going to make sure that the ability to function going into the election is not adversely affected,” McConnell said at a news conference in Horse Cave, Kentucky.
Senate Republicans on Monday were discussing putting forward a narrow coronavirus relief proposal of their own, which could include allocating new funds for a $300 weekly federal unemployment benefit through late December, providing liability protections and reviving a lapsed small-business loan program, according to two people familiar with the plans.
Those people, who cautioned that the legislation was not yet finalized, also said the proposal would convert a $10 billion loan the Treasury Department offered to the Postal Service into a grant.
The service’s financial woes pose a challenge for Republican lawmakers — particularly senators from mail-dependent states who are up for reelection — who risk angering millions of voters who rely on the post office for medicine, Social Security checks and other essential resources if they do not take action. Pelosi told MSNBC on Monday that she expected Republicans to support the Democrats’ bill.
Some top Republicans criticized Pelosi’s move to bring up stand-alone legislation, including Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader, who accused Democrats of “pushing conspiracy theories about the USPS to undermine faith in the election.” Other, more moderate Republicans have been more vocal in their criticism of the policy changes and have been more open to providing the agency with billions of dollars, particularly if included in a broader stimulus package.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, has called on the Senate, currently out on recess, to return to Washington to consider a coronavirus relief package that would include legislation she wrote with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., that would allocate up to $25 billion for the agency to cover losses resulting from the pandemic.
“We cannot shortchange service to the public to fix USPS’ financial issues,” Collins said Monday. “The postmaster general must take immediate action to remedy these delays.”
Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., wrote to DeJoy on Friday requesting information about the removal of collection boxes in his state, calling it unacceptable if “the removals of collection boxes could result in delayed mail delivery and reduced mail options for Montanans.”But Democrats running for the Senate in states that rely heavily on the mail made clear they would continue to press the issue. John Hickenlooper, the former Democratic governor of Colorado, took to Twitter in a campaign video to upbraid the impact of the delays and laid the blame squarely on Trump and his Republican opponent, Sen. Cory Gardner.
“It just makes me want to pull my hair out, and Cory Gardner hasn’t said a word,” Hickenlooper said.Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., “supports providing relief to the Postal Service as part of a larger COVID-19 package that also provides more relief to North Carolina families, job creators and the doctors, nurses and health care providers on the front lines,” Daniel Keylin, a spokesman for the senator, said in a statement Monday. “Senator Tillis has confidence in North Carolina’s absentee voting system and the ability of the state to provide North Carolinians with safe and secure ways to cast a ballot.”
Voters from six states filed a lawsuit on Monday against both DeJoy and Trump, asking a federal court to block what plaintiffs said was a calculated dismantling of the Postal Service ahead of the November election. The suit was filed in the Southern District of New York on behalf of 17 plaintiffs from California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey, Wisconsin and New York, including Mondaire Jones, a progressive candidate all but guaranteed to join Congress next year as a representative for the suburbs north of New York City.The lawsuit asks the court to declare that Trump and DeJoy violated voters’ rights through an effort to slash the Postal Service in opposition to mail-in voting. It also wants the court to order the defendants to take “all steps necessary and sufficient to ensure that the USPS is adequately funded” and ensure that “absentee and other mail ballots are treated equal to in-person ballots” and fund “sufficient staffing and overtime to handle a record level of mail voting.”
The suit also asks the court to “mitigate any harms that may flow from already accomplished harms,” including the destruction or disposal of postal machinery.Two Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee on Monday urged the FBI director, Christopher A. Wray, to open a criminal investigation into the role DeJoy has played in curtailing services. Top Senate Democrats also urged the Postal Service’s board of governors to reverse the changes “that degrade or delay postal operations and the delivery of the mail” and consider removing DeJoy if he refuses to comply.
“Mr. DeJoy appears to be engaged in a partisan effort, with the support of President Trump, to delay and degrade mail service and undermine the mission of the United States Postal Service,” the senators wrote. “You have the responsibility to reverse those changes and the authority to do so.”