House Democrats call on Biden to fill Postal Service Board vacancies to pave way for ousting DeJoy

House Democrats call on Biden to fill Postal Service Board vacancies to pave way for ousting DeJoy
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A group of 80 House Democrats on Wednesday called on President BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Did President Biden institute a vaccine mandate for only half the nation's teachers? Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms MORE to fill three vacancies on the U.S. Postal Service's Board of Governors, which would pave the way for potentially removing Postmaster General Louis DeJoyLouis DeJoyWatchdog says USPS regularly cheats workers of pay FreedomWorks misfires on postal reform Postal Service to slow certain mail deliveries starting in October MORE from his position. 

The Democratic lawmakers, led by Reps. Alma AdamsAlma Shealey AdamsOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda House Democrat threatens to vote against party's spending bill if HBCUs don't get more federal aid Building a culture of environmental preparedness at HBCUs MORE (N.C.), Peter DeFazioPeter Anthony DeFazioThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden sticks to his Afghanistan deadline Biden commends Pelosi for 'masterful' leadership Overnight Energy: Democrats tout new report to defend KeystoneXL cancellation MORE (Ore.), and Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyHow lawmakers aided the Afghan evacuation Overnight Defense & National Security — Congress begins Afghanistan grilling Connolly rips Wilson over 'you lie' during Blinken hearing MORE (Va.), urged Biden to prioritize submitting nominations for the vacancies "as expeditiously as possible."

"We do not doubt that the Postal Service requires some thoughtful reforms in order to continue to provide excellent service to the American people in the years to come; however, there is a plethora of evidence that Postmaster General DeJoy is not equipped to meet the rigors of these challenges," they wrote in a letter to the president

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"Filling the vacant seats on the Postal Service’s Board of Governors with strong, passionate advocates for the institution will allow it to function in a nonpartisan manner, and will allow the Board to seriously consider whether the current Postmaster General is suitable to continue in his role."

The Postal Service Board of Governors has six members that were appointed by former President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE, two of whom are Democrats. DeJoy could only be removed by the Postal Service Board of Governors, as Biden can't remove him directly. 

Earlier this month, Ron Bloom, a former Obama administration official who was nominated by Trump to the Board in 2019, was elected its chairman. Bloom succeeded Robert Duncan, a Republican appointed by Trump who remains on the Postal Service Board. 

DeJoy, a GOP megadonor who previously ran a logistics company, drew the ire of Democrats shortly after becoming postmaster general last year for implementing cost-cutting measures at the Postal Service that led to mail delivery delays.

In response to the backlash at the time, DeJoy announced last August that he would pause changes to Postal Service operations until after the November election "to avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail." Trump had for months tried to sow doubt in the reliability of casting ballots by mail as many people sought for alternatives to voting in person during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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But DeJoy is reportedly considering additional operational changes. The Washington Post reported last week that DeJoy is preparing to designate all first-class mail for a three-to-five-day delivery window, instead of allowing for a separate tier that delivers mail in two days. Only 38 percent of first-class mail was delivered on time at the end of last year. 

In response to the Washington Post report, Connolly, who chairs a House Oversight subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Postal Service, also called on Biden last week to "immediately" remove and replace the entire Board of Governors to clear the way for DeJoy's removal.

The Biden administration has said that Biden intends to fill the vacancies with officials "who reflect his commitment to the workers of the U.S. Postal Service," but has not yet offered a timeline.

 

In the meantime, the House Oversight and Reform Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing next Wednesday with DeJoy and Bloom on legislative reforms for the Postal Service.