Biden Begins Process To Fire Postmaster General Louis DeJoy

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The Biden administration is apparently moving towards seeing through a replacement for Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Trump era official who attracted steep criticism for his chaotic handling of the U.S. Postal Service. Timely delivery rates fluctuated wildly in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, which observers worried could negatively impact mail-in voting, which was already set to be used at a significantly higher than normal rate because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Appointing the Postmaster General is the responsibility of the Postal Service’s Board of Governors, whose members are appointed by the president. Thus, seeing through a DeJoy replacement requires having allies for the Biden administration in place at the Board of Governors, and on Monday, the Biden team said that the president would be handling current vacancies at the board. At present, there are three vacancies and a fourth spot that will soon open up on the nine member panel.

The Biden administration said as follows:

‘Only the Board of Governors of the US Postal Service has the power to replace the Postmaster General. The President can, however, nominate governors to fill vacancies on the board pending Senate confirmation… President Biden’s focus is on filling these vacancies, nominating officials who reflect his commitment to the workers of the US Postal Service — who can deliver on the post office’s vital universal service obligation. As these are Senate confirmed positions, we will work closely with the Senate to move these nominations forward.’

Check out Biden’s team’s statement below:

At present, the Senate is under slim Democratic control. The chamber is 50-50, but Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris is tasked with breaking any ties — a step that she’s already undertaken when the Senate considered a procedural resolution clearing the way for the imminent passage of COVID-19 relief with the support of a simple majority of the chamber. The final vote tally on that resolution was 51 in favor and 50 against, with every Senate Republican opposing moving forward on the COVID relief-related proposal in question.

Meanwhile, as The Washington Post summarized in recent days, “Only 38 percent of nonlocal first-class mail arrived on time in late December, compared with 92 percent in the year-ago period, according to data reported in federal voting lawsuits.” Around the same point in late 2020, just 71 percent of local mail with a two-day delivery turnaround was delivered on time, according to the data. These numbers underline the crisis growing at the Postal Service as the Biden administration and Congressional Democrats grapple with a way forward for the agency.