President Joe Biden on Wednesday appointed three postal experts to the U.S. Postal Service’s board of directors, a move that could change the course of an agency struggling with delivery delays and supposed cuts under its beleaguered Republican leader.
If confirmed by the Senate, the Board of Governors nominees would bring further democratic scrutiny on Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a major GOP donor whose tenure has been bogged down by slow service and politicization.
The candidates are Ron Stroman, a former post office deputy minister; Amber McReynolds, a mail-in voting advocate who heads the nonprofit National Vote at Home Institute; and Anton Hajjar, former general counsel for the American Postal Workers Union. The White House’s announcement of the move came just after a long and sometimes tense Congressional hearing with DeJoy over the agency’s financial health.
“President Biden is committed to the success of the USPS, and these experienced and tested leaders will ensure that the USPS operates to the highest standards of service and can effectively and efficiently serve all communities across our country. », We read in a press release from the White House.
Democrats pressured Biden to appoint a list of potential governors who could oust DeJoy. The six members who currently make up the council were appointed by President Donald Trump. A spokesperson for the Postal Service said it “will welcome all qualified members to the Board of Governors.”
DeJoy, a prominent Trump supporter, has come under heavy criticism for a series of operational changes that slowed mail ahead of the 2020 election. The policy changes have fueled fears that DeJoy is trying to sabotage the agency in name of Trump, a vocal critic of mail-in voting, before dealing with an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots. Despite concerns, the agency said it delivered more than 99% of the ballots in five days.
After the election, the postal service was once again in the spotlight as it struggled to deal with the surge of parcels and mail during the holidays, which led to further conviction. DeJoy and other postal executives have acknowledged and vowed to deal with the delays, saying the agency has fallen short of expectations.
DeJoy and the board are finalizing a 10-year plan to revitalize the Postal Service, an independent agency with roots dating back to the 18th century. Asked about rumors of the cuts during Wednesday’s congressional hearing, DeJoy told lawmakers postal officials “are evaluating all service standards,” but declined to provide many details.
“We need to, frankly, face the problems we face, be frank and realistic about the breadth of solutions we need, and embrace the few critical pieces of legislative help we need from Congress.” ”DeJoy said.
Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union, congratulated the candidates and said they represent an experienced group that will oversee any potential changes in the agency’s operations.
“The board has the right to hire and fire postmaster generals, so DeJoy is certainly going to have to operate in a way that retains the support of the board,” Dimondstein said. “He will face a changing dynamic within the board.”
Izaguirre reported from Lindenhurst, New York.
The Associated Press’s coverage of voting rights is supported in part by Carnegie Corporation of New York. The AP is solely responsible for this content.
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