The Treasury Department has released a “fact sheet” to refute claims made by former U.S. Postal Service official David Williams that the Treasury Department and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are politicizing the Postal Service and inappropriately interfering with its work.
The department’s rebuttal was issued in a press release, in response to testimony by former USPS Board of Governors Vice Chairman David Williams. He told the Congressional Progressive Caucus Thursday that he had resigned from the board “when it became clear to me that the administration was politicizing the Postal Service.” He claimed that Mnuchin was the “lead figure for the White House in that effort.”
By statute, Mnuchin as treasury secretary is responsible for providing the Postal Service with a line of credit,. But Mnuchin “was using that responsibility to make demands that I believed would turn the Postal Service into a political tool, ending its long history as an apolitical public infrastructure,” Williams said.
On Friday, the Postal Service Board of Governors also announced it is establishing a bipartisan Election Mail Committee to oversee the Postal Service’s support of the mail-in voting process. The committee will be led by Governor Lee Moak, joined by Governor Ron Bloom and Governor John Barger.
The Treasury Department denied in the release that it used its role as lender to USPS to make political demands and said it was false that Republican appointees to the USPS Board of Governors and the Postal Regulatory Commission visit Mnuchin to “kiss the ring,” as Williams testified.
The Treasury Department also insisted it does not want to privatize USPS, and did not interfere with the Board of Governors’ selection of DeJoy as postmaster general.
“In 2018, Secretary Mnuchin was appointed Chair of the Task Force on the United States Postal System (task force) which evaluated potential options for reforming the USPS and concluded the USPS should not be privatized,” the release read, adding that the task force concluded “maintaining critical infrastructure as a national resource should be considered the primary business objective under the USPS under a new business model.”
The Trump administration has come under fire for decommissioning Postal Service equipment ahead of a critical election. Mr. Trump admitted to Fox News that he didn’t want to provide more funds to the Postal Service because that could allow for mass mail-in voting, which he opposes. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who testified before Congress Friday, has said he would delay the cost-cutting measures to the Post Office until after the election, but he has not committed to replacing infrastructure that was removed.
Dejoy, a major Republican donor and close ally of President Trump, appeared before the Republican-led Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to answer questions about the mail agency’s finances and operations during the coronavirus pandemic. Dejoy said the Postal Service is “fully capable of delivering the nation’s election mail securely and on time.”