Carper: Senate needs to act on postal nominees

The Senate needs to confirm governors for the U.S. Postal Service’s board as soon as it returns in January, Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperOvernight Energy: Inhofe defends Pruitt after criticisms | Agency releases study on water contaminant | Trump rescinds Obama ocean policy Dems press EPA nominees on ethics, climate Overnight Energy: Senate panel sets Pruitt hearing | Colorado joins California with tougher emissions rules | Court sides with Trump on coal leasing program MORE (D-Del.) said Monday. 

In a statement, Carper said that lawmakers had failed to meet the challenge of overhauling postal operations — and then compounded that mistake by leaving the agency’s board short of a quorum. 

“The Senate adjourned leaving the Board of Governors without a quorum and forcing the Board to take steps to ensure it can respond in the event of emergency circumstances,” Carper said.

“It would be unacceptable to leave any business with a more than $60 billion operational budget without a functioning board, especially at a time when that business is struggling to address a number of financial challenges.”

The USPS’s 11-person board is currently down to five governors, one short of the number needed for a quorum.

Carper and Senate aides had been hopeful that at least one of the five nominees awaiting floor action would get confirmed before Congress broke for 2014. But the postal nominees were not among a batch of last-minute confirmations that cleared the Senate this month.

The Postal Service’s board voted before it lost its quorum to allow the remaining governors to stay in charge of the agency.