Rep. Maloney pushes Senate to quickly approve USPS board noms in bid to oust DeJoy

Mar 5, 2021
In The News

WASHINGTON — New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney really wants to see Trump-era U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy removed from his post, and she’s leaning on the Senate to make it possible.

Last month, President Joe Biden nominated three postal experts to the governing board of the U.S. Postal Service, a move that could alter the course of an agency grappling with delivery delays and rumored cuts under former President Donald Trump.

In a letter obtained by the Daily News, Maloney, a Democrat and chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee, asks Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich), head of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, “to hold confirmation hearings as soon as possible.”

DeJoy, a Republican mega-donor to Trump, took over the Postal Service last summer and immediately instituted a series of changes, including significant reductions in overtime and weekend staffing, that was blamed for a disastrous falloff in service as Americans were in lock-down and trying to vote by mail.

After the election, the Postal Service again came into the spotlight as it struggled to handle the holiday season surge of packages and mail, leading to additional condemnation. DeJoy and other postal leaders have acknowledged and pledged to attend to the delays, saying the agency fell short of expectations.

Democrats demanded DeJoy be fired or resign, but DeJoy, who serves at the pleasure of the Postal Board of Governors, remains in place.

Maloney puts the blame for long-delayed mail squarely on DeJoy.

“The American people have grown tired of the lack of on-time delivery, which impacts the delivery of letters, medicines, bills, and other essential items,” she wrote. “It is urgent that the Postal Service have a full Board to ensure that it can effectively serve the American people.”

The board is supposed to have 11 members, but has not for years, including lacking enough members to function from 2014 to 2019. Five of seven current members, including DeJoy, are Republicans. Biden has nominated two Democrats and an independent. It is not guaranteed that a more Democratic-leaning board would remove DeJoy, but DeJoy has signaled he intends to stay in his job as long as he can. Short of him resigning, the only way he could be removed is by the board acting.

Maloney also wrote a pair of bills this week aimed at the flaws exposed by last year’s Postal Service failures.

The Nonpartisan Postmaster General Act, would classify postal governors as “further restricted employees” under federal laws that prevent such employees from holding any sort of political job at the same time. One current board member, Robert “Mike” Duncan, is the former head of the Republican Party and currently serves on Mitch McConnell’s Super PAC, the Senate Leadership Fund.

The other bill, included as an amendment to the sweeping election reform bill that House the House passed Wednesday, makes it possible for voters and elections officials to track mail-in ballots the way they track packages already.