Louis DeJoy’s future as United States Postmaster General may be in question after a surprise White House decision to oust two of the GOP’s controversial allies from the Postal Service Board of Governors.
President Joe Biden decided to send the nominations of Daniel Tangherlini and Derek Kan to the Senate on Friday, a move that would replace two board members whose terms are expiring: Ron Bloom, the chairman of the board. , and board member John Barger.
Mr. Bargers’ support for Mr. DeJoy throughout his widely criticized operational changes at the USPS was not too surprising, as both are Republicans. However, Mr DeJoy has found a strategic ally in Mr Bloom, a Democrat who has chaired the board of directors. Mr. Bloom previously held several positions in the Obama administration, including a role in the government bailout and the reorganization of automakers Chrysler and General Motors.
The USPS board has faced for months with calls from critics, including Democrats in Congress, for Mr. DeJoy to be removed from office due to the effects of his operational changes, including deterioration. significant mail delivery times.
Some changes appeared to be specifically intended to make mail delivery slower or less convenient. High-speed mail sorting machines have been decommissioned. Late trips to deliver mail have come to an end. Public letter boxes have been removed from the streets of the country.
Most, if not all, of these measures were overturned by the USPS ahead of the 2020 election after a major outcry from Democrats. They called the measures an overt attempt by a supporter of Donald Trump to cut down on the U.S. Postal Service at the behest of the former president, who has repeatedly criticized postal voting.
Mr DeJoy was previously vice chairman of finance for the Republican National Committee and played a role in the RNC 2020 convention. In June, it was revealed that he was the subject of a Justice Department investigation regarding campaign contributions made by employees of his logistics and freight company, New Breed Logistics.
Mr Bloom defended some of Mr DeJoys’ efforts earlier this year during testimony in the House. And just last week, it was reported by the Washington Post that he told colleagues he expected the president to reappoint him to the board, despite opposition from Democrats in both. chambers of Congress.
Mr Biden does not have the power to directly appoint or dismiss the Postmaster General and is required to keep the board of directors from nine members to a maximum of five from the same party. Currently, the board is split equally between Democrats and Republicans, with an independent member.
Yet the Biden administration has maintained a steady stream of pressure in public statements aimed at board governors urging them to reassess the agency’s leadership amid service downturns.
[W]We are still concerned about the post office minister’s leadership, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during her press briefing on Friday. She added that the White House is taking serious trouble[e] with the work he does managing the postal service.
The battle over the postal service represents a fundamental disagreement between different schools of thought among U.S. lawmakers over how the agency should operate.
Republicans and some conservative Democrats have backed service cuts and increased fees, arguing for measures needed to make the agency financially solvent and calling the postal service a government-run business. Progressives have argued the opposite: that the postal service is a government-provided service and therefore should be funded by Congress rather than relying on cost-cutting tactics.
Earlier this year, DeJoy announced further service cuts as part of a 10-year plan to reform agency finances.
The effort was delayed in 2020 after Democrats raised concerns about a further slowdown in the postal service at a time when record numbers of Americans were voting by mail due to the Covid pandemic.
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