Senate Committee Advances Biden's Nominees for USPS Board
Just one Republican joins all Democrats in approving the three governors-designate.
A Senate panel advanced all three of President Biden’s nominees to serve on the U.S. Postal Service’s governing board, potentially giving his administration more influence over the mailing agency’s operations.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee advanced the nominees with bipartisan support, with Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, the panel’s top Republican, and all Democrats voting to approve all three. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., voted in favor only of Ron Stroman’s temporary appointment, but not for his full term and voted against the other two nominees. Stroman, who until last year spent 10 years as deputy postmaster general; Amber McReynolds, a voting rights activist; and Anton Hajjar, a former American Postal Workers Union official, will now head to the full Senate where their confirmation appears likely.
Their confirmation is unlikely to spur an immediate change in leadership at USPS, however, as none of the appointees during their nomination hearing last week directly criticized or said they would seek to remove Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. It would give Democrat-aligned members a majority among the Senate-confirmed members of the board, but existing Democratic governors Ron Bloom and Lee Moak have expressed support for DeJoy's vision.
The nominees did, however, vow to ensure USPS service is not eroded. That could set up a clash with DeJoy, who is planning to slow delivery windows for some mail. They all applauded DeJoy's promise to ensure more postal workers are afforded opportunities for career jobs and the full suite of benefits that entails.
DeJoy is not waiting for new board members to move forward with his plan. The postmaster general announced on Tuesday he would consolidate 18 mail processing plants while acquiring new facilities to boost package processing.
If confirmed, the board would see all nine presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed slots filled for the first time in more than a decade and a more balanced makeup with four Republicans, four Democrats and one independent. Johnson said he voted against the nominees because it was not a bipartisan slate, but to include a Republican for the three vacant slots would require Biden to give his opposition party a majority on the board. All of the current governors were appointed by President Trump.
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