Biden’s USPS Board Nominees Unlikely to Oust DeJoy

Critics of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy hoped Thursday’s confirmation hearing for President Joe Biden’s three nominees to the U.S. Postal Service’s governing board would mark the beginning of the end for the embattled mail chief. Shortly after President Biden’s inauguration, dozens of congressional Democrats urged him in a letter to fill the remaining three postal board vacancies “as expeditiously as possible” in order to “seriously consider whether the current Postmaster General is suitable to continue in his role.” And a coalition of progressive groups recently circulated a petition saying that “to save our Postal Service, the Senate must swiftly confirm [Biden’s] nominees — and the Board must then fire and replace DeJoy.”

But even if President Biden’s picks are approved by the Senate, industry insiders suspect the board is unlikely to have enough votes to oust DeJoy, in part because its chairman, Ron Bloom, a Trump-appointed Democrat, has recently expressed strong support for the postmaster general.

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 24: U.S. Postal Service Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies during a hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on August 24, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee is holding a hearing on “Protecting the Timely Delivery of Mail, Medicine, and Mail-in Ballots.” (Photo by Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)

Despite the sustained scrutiny of DeJoy, Bloom told lawmakers in February that “the board of governors believes the postmaster general, in very difficult circumstances, is doing a good job.” Bloom, a former Obama administration official, has also taken on a key role in selling DeJoy’s 10-year plan to Congress and other postal stakeholders.

Thursday’s confirmation hearing, being held by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, will consider Biden’s choices to fill the board’s three vacant seats: Ron Stroman, a former deputy postmaster general; Amber McReynolds, a mail voting advocate; and , the former general counsel of the American Postal Workers Union.

The board’s six sitting members — comprised of two Democrats and four Republicans — were all appointed by former President Donald Trump, and if Biden’s three nominees are confirmed, Democrats or Democrat-appointed members would gain enough of a majority to unseat DeJoy. But Bloom could complicate the math for Democrats if his support for DeJoy continues.

DeJoy’s apparent job security has prompted calls from some Democrats for more drastic measures. Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois has requested that President Biden remove all six current members, including Bloom and the board’s other Trump-appointed Democrat, Lee Moak, and nominate an entirely new slate of governors.

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