Three of President Joe Biden’s nominees to the United States Postal Service (USPS) governing board were approved by a Senate committee on Wednesday, setting up a future vote on their appointments by the entire Senate.
Ron Stroman, who formerly served as a deputy postmaster general, Amber McReynolds, head of the National Vote at Home Institute, and Anton Hajjar, who once served as general counsel of the American Postal Workers Union, were all forwarded for consideration to a full vote of the Senate by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which voted without debate on the matter of their nominations following their testimonies.
If confirmed by the full legislative body, the Democrats will have appointed the majority of members of the USPS governing board, which in turn opens the possibility of removing current Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Republican Party mega donor and appointee of former President Donald Trump.
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DeJoy, who was appointed by Trump in June 2020, was criticized last fall for taking a number of actions that resulted in slower mail deliveries ahead of the 2020 election at a time when voters were submitting using an unprecedented number of absentee mail ballots due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many questioned whether DeJoy’s actions were a means to a more disturbing end, such as delaying ballots to the polls that were likely to be against Trump. DeJoy has denied the charge.
DeJoy has given more than $2 million in campaign donations to the Republican Party, including Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. The postmaster general and his wife, Aldona Wos, reported tens of millions of dollars in assets from companies that are direct competitors to USPS prior to his appointment.
After DeJoy recently announced USPS would move forward with a plan to consolidate 18 mail processing facilities, American Postal Workers Union President Mark Dimondstein blasted the decision, saying it would “further delay mail” while also hurting workers.
“After a year of courageous and essential frontline work in this pandemic, management’s actions are a slap in the face of postal workers,” Dimondstein added.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a governmental watchdog group, has also decried proposals by DeJoy to raise postage prices, cut administrative costs, and slow delivery times for first class mail over a 10-year period. As a result, the watchdog has called for the firing of DeJoy as postmaster general.
Even if all three of Biden’s appointments are confirmed, it’s unclear whether DeJoy’s job would actually be on the line, as two Democratic-appointed members of the board have signaled reluctance in recent weeks to fire him.