House lawmakers push Biden administration to investigate USPS contract with Oshkosh

United States Postal Service Postmaster General Louis DeJoy speaks throughout a House Oversight and Reform Committee listening to on Legislative Proposals to Put the Postal Service on Sustainable Financial Footing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on February 24, 2021.

Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

House Democrats referred to as on the Biden administration Tuesday to halt the U.S. Postal Service’s $482 million contract with Oshkosh Defense to assist modernize the service’s growing older fleet of supply vehicles till an investigation can show there was no “inappropriate political influence” within the award.

Three Democratic House lawmakers — Reps. Marcy Kaptur and Tim Ryan of Ohio and California Rep. Jared Huffman — launched a decision that will place a maintain on the contract till an investigation is performed. Kaptur stated in an announcement that the probe would additionally decide whether or not the contract is “consistent with the President’s Executive Order to electrify the federal fleet.”

The USPS introduced on Feb. 23 that it awarded the primary a part of the 10-year, multi-billion greenback contract to replace the postal supply automobile fleet to Oshkosh Defense. Shares of Workhorse Group, an Ohio-based electrical automobile firm that was competing for the contract, dropped by practically 50% the following day and have barely recovered since then. The shares jumped by virtually 8% Tuesday, buying and selling at round $16.70 in afternoon buying and selling.

Under the contract, Oshkosh would make up to 165,000 postal autos over the following decade, making up roughly a 3rd of the federal authorities’s fleet, in accordance to the announcement. However, USPS chief Louis DeJoy lately instructed lawmakers that solely 10% of the brand new fleet could be electrical, which “would be inconsistent” with President Joe Biden’s efforts to electrify your complete federal fleet, the lawmakers stated.

According to the assertion, lawmakers are additionally involved about experiences of “suspicious” inventory trades that have been positioned simply hours earlier than USPS chief Louis DeJoy introduced the deal.

“Ten percent makes no sense and flies in the face of President Biden’s recent order to electrify the federal fleet.,” stated Kaptur, who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and co-chairs the House Auto Caucus.

Shares of Oshkosh remained comparatively unchanged Tuesday afternoon.

— CNBC’s Pippa Stevens contributed to this report.

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