Nati Harnik / AP file photo

USPS Regains a Functioning Governing Board for the First Time in Five Years

Five Trump appointees sit on the panel, finally reinstating its quorum.

The Senate on Thursday approved three nominees appointed by President Trump to the U.S. Postal Service’s governing board, reinstating a quorum on the panel for the first time since 2014. 

The chamber unanimously confirmed Ron Bloom, a former union consultant and an appointee of President Obama; Roman Martinez IV, a former investment banker and Republican operative; and John McLeod Barger, an investor with experience running a board in Los Angeles County, to serve on the board. 

In 2014 just before the board lost its quorum, it voted to create a “temporary emergency committee” that could carry out its tasks to make business decisions and set the long-term vision for the agency. That committee has remained in operation ever since. Until recently, the board had no Senate-confirmed members and only the postmaster general and her deputy sat on the emergency panel. Bloom, Martinez and Barger will now join David Williams and Robert Duncan on the board as presidentially-appointed governors. 

Dave Partenheimer, a USPS spokesman, said the agency was pleased to have the new board members. 

“We look forward to working with John Barger, Ron Bloom, and Roman Martinez IV when they begin their terms as governors, and thank the administration for nominating them to serve on the board,” Partenheimer said. “The public interest and the Postal Service are best served by a board made up of well qualified individuals with diverse perspectives and experience.”

There are 11 total slots on the board of governors: nine presidentially appointed, plus the postmaster general and her deputy. Four remain vacant. 

During their confirmation hearings, all three new governors expressed the need to address the Postal Service’s financial struggles, while also promising to ensure the agency continues to fulfill its mission to deliver universal service across the country. 

The Senate also approved two nominees to serve on the Postal Regulatory Commission, Ann Fisher and Ashley Poling. Fisher has spent the last 12 years at PRC after her experience on Capitol Hill, while Poling has spent the last five years working on postal issues for Democrats in the Senate. Both nominees pledged during their confirmation hearings to find ways to hold USPS accountable and incentivize the agency to meet its goals.