As summarized by a new CNN report, the Biden administration is moving to “act fast” to deal with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Trump era appointee who has attracted steep criticism for his handling of the Postal Service. Postmaster generals are appointed by the Postal Service’s Board of Governors rather than the president themselves, so presidents hoping for a change in Postal Service leadership have to go through the board. At present, there are three vacancies on the board, which is comprised of nine seats and is currently entirely composed of Trump appointees.
Biden spokesperson Michael Gwin told CNN the following:
‘President Biden has made clear his feelings on the current leadership of the Postal Service and the challenges it faces, and his team is working as quickly as possible to fill board vacancies so the USPS can effectively fulfill its vital mission for the country, and live up to the commitments made to its workers.’
The Senate is responsible for confirming presidential appointments to the Postal Service’s Board of Governors, but this stage won’t be a foreseeable hurdle — the Senate is currently under Democratic control. Democratic members of Congress have repeatedly called on a swift change in leadership at the Postal Service, where on-time delivery rates have dramatically swung since DeJoy took over. At the end of last year, only 38 percent of 3-5 day mail was delivered on time — at the beginning of the year, before DeJoy’s leadership, the on-time delivery rate for that category of mail was 79 percent, marking a huge difference.
— Christopher Ingraham (@_cingraham) February 8, 2021
In a Friday letter, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (R-Mass.) said that DeJoy “continues to compromise the people’s ability to receive everything from paychecks to life-saving medication, with new delay tactics and higher postage rates,” adding that the “current Board of Governors has been complicit in the systematic deterioration of the USPS, a blatant dereliction of duty that requires swift removal and replacement.”
In addition to the three vacancies, a fourth member of the board is serving in a holdover position after their term technically expired late last year. Filling the three openings with Democrats would create a Democratic majority on the nine-member board, which currently has two Democrats, although both were appointed by Trump because of the legal mandate for the presence of both major parties.