DeJoy is also scheduled to testify before the Democrat-led House Oversight and Reform Committee Aug. 24.
The hearing, titled “Examining Finances and Operations of the United States Postal Service During COVID-19 and Upcoming Elections,” will take place at 9 a.m. Friday by video conference, according to a notice.
The Washington Post first reported on the Friday hearing.
In a statement, Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), the top Democrat on the committee, said he 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.”
In addition to the House’s oversight hearing next week, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is planning to interrupt the August recess for a rare Saturday vote on legislation that would provide $25 billion to USPS and would seek to block organizational changes to the U.S. Postal Service.
Ahead of the hearings, DeJoy announced Tuesday that any changes to operational procedures would take place after the election.
“To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded,” he said.
In a meeting with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Aug. 5, DeJoy offered to suspend the operational changes he’s doing to the Postal Service and would allow late and extra trips for postal workers to get ballots delivered on time and to election officials, according to two people familiar with the conversation. He also would allow postal workers to not have to leave on time in the morning but instead would allow them wait until all the mail for the day was ready to be delivered.
One of the people said DeJoy had offered to suspend it for the 10 days before the election, but Pelosi and Schumer said he should suspend the changes now and that none of them are acceptable in the middle of a pandemic and right before an election.
Pelosi said Tuesday after DeJoy’s announcement that the House’s bill to infuse $25 billion into the Postal Service was still necessary.
“We want to roll them back. You know, he calls them reforms. Reforms! Reforms for what,” Pelosi said at a POLITICO Playbook event. “They felt the heat. And that’s what we were trying to do, make it too hot for them to handle.”
Schumer, who spoke with DeJoy Tuesday, said he asked him for a “specific, written document from him outlining exactly what changes he is rescinding, which reforms will remain, and an explicit confirmation that all election mail will continue to be treated as First Class priority.” DeJoy responded that he would provide a written response soon, according to the New York Democrat.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told the Courier Journal Tuesday that he did not think the Senate would pass a bill that only focuses on the Postal Service.
Senate Republicans meanwhile are planning to soon unveil a more narrow coronavirus relief proposal that would provide $10 billion to the U.S. Postal Service, the same amount of money that Democrats and White House negotiators agreed to before coronavirus negotiations broke down.
Some Senate Republicans have expressed concern about funding for USPS. Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced legislation in July that would provide up to $25 billion in funding for USPS. The bill has support from Republican Sens. Steve Daines of Montana and Roy Blunt of Missouri.
And in a letter sent Monday, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kans.) reiterated his request for DeJoy to meet with him and work with Congress to reform the Postal Service.
“The urgent threats facing the institution should be spurring you into discussions with Congress and the White House,” Moran wrote. “Given that President Trump’s chief-of-staff, former Congressman Mark Meadows, was a leader in postal reform during his time in the House of Representatives, I believe this moment in time provides a unique opportunity for this administration to work with a willing audience in Congress eager to achieve long-term reforms for the Postal Service.”