During the coronavirus pandemic, people have had to make changes in their lives, which for many has meant working remotely. That even applies to United States senators, who have attended virtual government functions. With the addition of unfamiliar technology and the inexperience with video conferencing services, it opens the door for misadventures. Just ask Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.).
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testified Friday morning before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Carper believed he was experiencing some technical difficulties when he was called upon, prompting him to curse up a storm.
Unknowingly to Carper, there were no technical difficulties, and his expletive outburst was livestreamed for the entire world to behold.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), the panel’s chairman, called on Carper to speak during the virtual hearing. After Carper didn’t respond, Johnson moved on to Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.).
Carper, 73, believed that he wasn’t broadcasting to the virtual hearing. Upset that he couldn’t participate in the hearing, Carper turned to his aide and into the hot mic he exclaimed, “F***! F***! F***!”
Johnson asks, “Senator Carper can you unmute?” An amused Johnson adds, “We don’t want to be on TV again.”
Carper then began his questioning of DeJoy.
The Democrats are interrogating DeJoy over cost-cutting measures to the U.S. Postal Service that led to concerns as to whether the USPS will be able to effectively handle mail-in ballots of the November general election.
DeJoy, who is a Republican donor and ally of President Donald Trump, implemented cost-saving actions to try to ease the financial woes of the USPS after he assumed the position on June 15.
Some Democrats believe that there has been a reduction in USPS assets, including mailboxes and mail-sorting machines. There is a conspiracy theory that the alleged downsizing of the USPS is a calculated scheme to stymie mail-in ballots in the presidential election.
“There has been no changes in any policies with regard to the election mail for the 2020 election,” DeJoy said during Friday’s hearing. “Trying to have any negative impact on the election is an outrageous claim.”
“As we head into this election season, I want to assure this committee and the American public that the Postal Service is fully capable and committed to delivering the nation’s election mail securely and on time,” DeJoy said. “This sacred duty is my number one priority between now and election day.
“I want to make a few things clear: The Postal Service is ready today to handle whatever volume of election mail it receives this fall,” DeJoy declared. “Even with the challenges of keeping our employees and customers safe and healthy as they operate amid a pandemic, we will deliver the nation’s election mail on time and within our well-established service standards.
“Changes must be made to ensure our sustainability for the years and decades ahead,” DeJoy said of needed spending cuts at the USPS.