White House Ups Postal Pressure, Urging ‘Better’ Leadership
(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden wants to see leaders who can do a “better job” running the embattled U.S. Postal Service, his top spokeswoman said, signaling that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy could be at risk of losing his job.
“I think we can all agree -- most Americans would agree -- that the Postal Service needs leadership that can and will do a better job,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday at a press briefing.
Her comments came after months of turmoil under DeJoy. Mail delivery still hasn’t recovered from a delivery slowdown that began after DeJoy cut overtime and extra trips by delivery trucks last year in an effort to rein in costs.
Psaki said the ultimate decision to keep or remove DeJoy is up to the Postal Service’s Board of Governors, but she didn’t directly answer when asked if Biden has confidence in DeJoy, a donor to former President Donald Trump who has proposed sweeping and radical changes to improve the Postal Service’s finances.
“The president is certainly familiar with the process. He believes the leadership can do better and we’re eager to have the Board of Governors in place,” Psaki said.
Biden on Wednesday announced three nominees to fill vacant seats on the Postal Service’s board. If they are confirmed by the Senate, it would give Democrats a majority of the nine presidentially-appointed slots on the Board of Governors. The board selects the postmaster general, and Democrats have urged Biden to move to dismiss DeJoy.
“I don’t know any member of Congress who has any kind of confidence in the postmaster general,” Senator Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, tweeted Wednesday. “It’s past time for DeJoy to go.”
Biden nominated to the postal board Ron Stroman, a former deputy postmaster general; Anton Hajjar, former general counsel of the American Postal Workers Union; and Amber McReynolds, an expert on election administration who leads the National Vote at Home Institute.
Stroman helped oversee mail-in voting and resigned in May, before DeJoy started. He has been a vocal critic of the current postmaster general, raising concerns last year that delivery slowdowns could impede mailed ballots. DeJoy denied that was his intent.
DeJoy on Wednesday defended his plan to overhaul the Postal Service’s operations, but offered few details about his proposed changes during a hearing held by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He told lawmakers, however, he intends to stay in his role for “a long time.”
“Get used to me,” he said.
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