President Joe Biden is expected to fill three seats on the United States Postal Service’s board of governors, cementing Democratic influence over the board that oversees the postmaster general and the federal mail agency.
NBC News reports that Biden plans to appoint Ron Stroman, Anton Hajjar and Amber McReynolds to the three seats that remain open and give Democrats more control of the agency, according to two sources familiar with Biden’s thinking on the topic.
This action would come following criticism directed at the Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the agency due to issues involving late delivery as well as accusations of election mail interference.
The appointments would also reportedly diversify the board, adding two men of color — Stroman and Hajjar — and a woman, McReynolds. NBC News makes the point that the current board consists of six white men. All reportedly do not have much experience with the Postal Service. The new appointments would change this dynamic, since Stroman was a deputy postmaster general, Hajjar was the general counsel for American Postal Workers Union, and McReynolds was the CEO of the National Vote at Home Institute and Coalition, as well as the previous director of elections for Denver.
During a congressional hearing on Wednesday, Board Chairman Ron Bloom reportedly responded to questions from Democratic Representative Cori Bush of Missouri about the void of diversity on the current board. Bloom said, “Congress intended us to have a full board…and so I think an organization functions best when it has the full diversity of views that comes from a full group.”
Last week, over 70 House Democrats sent a letter to President Biden urging him to act quickly and fill the open seats to create a Democratic majority on the board. NBC News reports that the board could then make a decision on getting rid of DeJoy, who is a Republican fundraiser and reportedly close to former President Donald Trump.
“Filling the vacant seats on the Postal Service’s Board of Governors with strong, passionate advocates for the institution will allow it to function in a nonpartisan manner, and will allow the Board to seriously consider whether the current Postmaster General is suitable to continue in his role,” the Democrats wrote.
Stroman was critical of DeJoy after leaving the Postal Service as deputy postmaster general right before DeJoy was appointed. Stroman vocally spoke out against the postmaster general.
DeJoy was questioned by members of Congress on Wednesday about his plans to change certain parts of the agency’s mail-delivery services. The details of his plans have not been released, but he told members on Wednesday that he plans to share them by the end of March.
Critics of DeJoy’s assumed plan have said that it would increase postage rates and get rid of the first-class tier of mail.
American Postal Workers Union President Mark Dimondstein also testified Wednesday. Dimondstein said in a statement, “We need a strong board that reflects the will of the people… We need leaders who will support prompt, reliable and efficient service, and public servants who understand that this is the United States Postal ‘Service’ and not the United States Postal ‘Business.’”
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