Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testified before the House Oversight Committee Monday. DeJoy has come under fire in his short time leading the U.S. Postal Service for changes he's been pushing that many have criticized as a thinly veiled attempt at voter suppression. With worries that mail-in ballots could go uncounted, DeJoy has said he's postponing some of the changes until after the election. But he's still taking criticism, including from Massachusetts U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, who sits on the House Oversight Committee. Pressley spoke with WGBH All Things Considered host Arun Rath on Monday. This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Arun Rath: DeJoy has said that mail-in votes will basically be treated as first class mail, but he's sticking by his removal of hundreds of mail sorting machines from post offices across the country, including here in Massachusetts. Tell us about your perspective on that.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley: It was more denials and deflections, a lack of remorse and accountability. What we experienced from our colleagues across the aisle is their efforts to continue to gaslight the American public on the disaster that Postmaster General DeJoy created during this hearing, despite our centering the experiences, the disruptions, the inconveniences, the hurt by our constituents with delayed mail and receiving their prescriptions and mail-in ballots, but also the impact on workforce, the dedicated 600,000 letter carriers and postal workers. This is a matter of lives and the livelihood of everyday Americans, and there is just no accountability.

I was able to get Mr. DeJoy and Chairman Duncan on the record, however, indicating that related deaths of letter carriers from COVID-19 are higher than was publicly reported. I do want to offer condolences to those 83 impacted families.

Also, the other thing that I was successful in getting them on the record and revealing on the record is that their vetting process was a complete sham. They did not consider the anti-labor and anti-worker record of Mr. DeJoy's companies. Mr. DeJoy must resign or he must be removed by the USPS board of governors immediately. And then the Senate should immediately take up the Delivering for America Act, which the House passed this weekend, which provides $25 billion in funding for the USPS and will do what Postmaster General DeJoy refuses to do, and that is to reverse the harmful changes imposed by Mr. DeJoy.

Rath: I wanted to ask you in some more detail about about one of the points that you just brought up, because it was something you got into that I haven't seen elsewhere in the questioning, where you talked about Louis DeJoy and you questioned him about his past, his very recent past, his business career. Give us a bit more the background there, what you're concerned about, whether it's conflict of interest or possible corruption.

Pressley: All of the above. Not only is he compromised and is there a conflict of interest, but he has partisan ties to Donald Trump, financial conflicts of interest with Amazon, his refusal to return sorting machines and collection letter boxes. He is being complicit in actually ordering, ostensibly, the dismantling of the United States Postal Service, which is a dismantling and an undermining of our democracy, and again, causing great hardship to our constituents.

Further, he has a track record with his previous companies of sexual harassment of pregnant employees who suffered miscarriages despite being asked to have lighter workloads — that was not complied with — and union busting. So this was an inadequate vetting, and I'm being generous in saying that. He is woefully unprepared and unqualified to be at the head of this government agency.

Rath: You also raise concerns about a Postal Service hiring freeze and early retirement at the post office.

Pressley: Absolutely. And that on top of the fact that, given the number of letter carriers and postal workers who have been impacted by COVID, the confluence of all these things means that we don't have the staffing levels that are necessary. And then when you couple that with these operational changes, that is why we see slow mail delivery.

And so I have constituents like Brendan in Charlestown who has a pregnant wife who requested a mail-in ballot several weeks ago in the interest of keeping he and his wife safe and healthy, and and they still haven't received their ballot. And then I have constituents like Christine in Somerville who is a freelancer who has not been able to receive checks for work that she has already done. And of course, I've received emails and letters and phone calls from hundreds of constituents, disproportionately veterans and seniors, who rely on the USPS to receive lifesaving medications.

Rath: In terms of Postmaster DeJoy's defense of these changes — that the post office loses a lot of money each year, that it's going to be running huge business deficits. If we do look at the Postal Service as a business, though it's run by the government, are there reforms that might make sense?

Pressley: Well, unfortunately, I ran out of time. I was able to get 13 questions asked and answered on the record. But one of the things that I wanted to ask the postmaster general about was his position on postal banking.There are many other ways the Postal Service could remain viable and meet the real needs of our constituents.

I represent one of the most unequal districts in the country with a huge wealth gap, huge racial wealth gap, and so many of my constituents are unbanked or underbanked. And so I think certainly postal banking is something that should be explored and pursued as a model that would allow the USPS to generate more revenue and to support its sustainability.

But I think that they are disingenuous, given the operational changes that have happened and the unwillingness to reverse course, and the fact that Mitch McConnell had on his desk the Heroes Act, which provided $25 billion in emergency funds, and that's been sitting for three months. And now the House has come into an emergency session to pass the Delivering for America Act, which is responsive legislation to what we hear from our constituents every day, what my Republican colleagues are referring to as "fake news" and conspiracy theories. What we are doing is listening to our constituents and we are responding in turn.

So we must hold this administration accountable. Postmaster General DeJoy has got to go, and the Senate means to bring to a vote the Delivering for America Act.

Rath: When it comes to concerns about election interference, it's not just the Postal Service that President Trump has at his disposal. It sounds like you've got your hands full in terms of oversight, but what other federal agencies, what else are you looking at as you look towards November?

Pressley: These are suppression and intimidation tactics in broad daylight. There's a confluence of them with xenophobic rhetoric and then the comments by Donald Trump himself.

What I'm doing is just really encouraging people to drop off or mail in their ballot as quickly as possible and to vote early. That is certainly what I will be doing. And we cannot allow ourselves to to be affected by this voter suppression and intimidation.

As for foreign interference, again, the very first bill or one of the early bills the House passed in the 116th session was a hardening of our infrastructure to guard against foreign interference. Just simple things: to agree that all of our machines should be made in America. These are not partisan issues. They should not be. These are things that are fundamental to our democracy, and we have been unable to get this GOP-led Senate to act in the interest of our democracy despite their espoused patriotism. And so we just have to be vigilant. I will say one of the reasons that I believe that we were able to get Postmaster DeJoy in despite the fact that I'm on Oversight and had called early for his resignation and for him to be subpoenaed to come before the committee is because of public outcry. It works. So remain vigilant.