Biden nominates two new board members

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Louis DeJoy’s future as U.S. postmaster general may be in question after the White House’s surprise move to remove the associates of two controversial GOP figures on the Postal Service’s board of governors.

President Joe Biden on Friday moved the nominations of Daniel Tangerlini and Derek Kane to the Senate, replacing two expiring members of the board whose terms are ending: Ron Bloom, chairman of the board, and John Berger, chairman of the board.

It was not surprising that Mr. Barger supported Mr. DeJoy in the widely criticized operational changes in the USPS, since both are Republicans. However, Democrat Mr Bloom, who chairs the board, found a strategic ally in Mr Bloom. Mr Bloom has previously held several positions in the Obama administration, including government bailouts and the reorganization of automakers Chrysler and General Motors.

The USPS board has faced months of calls from critics, including congressional Democrats, to remove Mr. DeJoy from the top role due to the significant deterioration in mail delivery times due to the impact of his operational changes.

Some changes were made specifically to make mail delivery slower or less convenient. High speed mail sorting machines were discarded. Delayed delivery of mail ended. Public mailboxes were removed from roads across the country.

Most, if not all, of these moves were reversed by the USPS after a significant outcry from Democrats before the 2020 election. He called the measures an open attempt by supporters of Donald Trump to cut off US mail service at the behest of the former president, who has repeatedly criticized mail-in voting.

Mr. DeJoy previously served as vice finance chairman for the Republican National Committee, and played a role in the 2020 RNC conference. In June, it was revealed that he was under investigation by the Department of Justice for campaign contributions made by employees of his logistics and freight company, New Breed Logistics.

Mr Bloom defended some of Mr DeJoy’s efforts during his testimony in the House earlier this year. And as recently as last week, he reported The Washington Post Despite opposition from Democrats in both houses of Congress, the president was telling friends he hoped to be re-elected to the board.

Mr Biden does not have the authority to directly appoint or dismiss the postmaster general, and the nine-member board is required to have a maximum of five members from the same party. Currently, the board is equally divided between Democrats and Republicans, with one independent member.

Still, the Biden administration has placed a steady stream of pressure on public statements aimed at urging board governors to re-evaluate the agency’s leadership amid service sluggishness.

“[W]Concerns about the postmaster general’s leadership continue, “White House Press Secretary Jane Sackie told a news briefing on Friday. He added that the White House “takes the issue seriously[e] With the work he did in the postal service. “

The battle for the postal service represents a fundamental disagreement between US lawmakers over how to operate the agency.

Republicans and some conservative Democrats have backed cuts to services and increased tariffs, defending the agency’s need for financial solutions, and portraying the postal service as a government-run business. Progressives have argued the opposite: the postal service is a service provided by the government and therefore should be funded by Congress instead of relying on cost-cutting strategies.

Earlier this year, Mr DeJoy announced further service cuts as part of a 10-year plan to improve the agency’s finances.

The effort was delayed in 2020 after Democrats expressed concern that the mail service could be further slowed by a record number of Americans voting by mail due to the Kovid epidemic.

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