Nothing Short of Biden Administration Leadership Will Stop DeJoy


January 11–12, 2022

Nothing Short of Biden Administration Leadership Will Stop DeJoy

This Tuesday and Wednesday’s meeting of the U.S. Postal Service board of governors does not herald a shift away from the destructive policies of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a move well within the power of the Biden administration with the right appointments.

“It is critical to the survival of the Postal Service that USPS leadership starts working for the interests of everyone who relies on it,” said Porter McConnell, co-founder of The Save the Post Office Coalition. “That cannot be done with DeJoy in his post, but he isn’t leaving on his own. The Biden Administration has few opportunities left to make meaningful, long-lasting change. It’s time they got serious and took them.”

Remaining options are limited, but they do exist. This December, William Zollars (Trump R) and Lee Moak’s (Trump D) terms expire. To remove DeJoy, the president must name a forward-looking governor more representative of the nation and the postal workforce to Moak’s seat, but that alone isn’t sufficient. The White House must also name a forward-looking and more representative governor (Democrat, Independent, or Republican) to Zollars’s seat.

The move is consistent with the board bylaws, but is likely to face resistance from Senate Republicans. However, if the administration cedes another seat to the other party, the board will likely be in a stalemate on DeJoy, allowing his ten year plan to proceed unchecked. By ceding John Barger’s replacement to Senate Republicans with his nomination of Derek Kan in December, President Biden lost a valuable opportunity to stop DeJoy.

This week’s meeting is the first time the USPS Board of Governors will meet since President Biden’s decision not to reappoint Ron Bloom, the previous board chair. Regardless of who is elected to chair the postal board Wednesday, they’re not likely to threaten Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s job security, or his ten year plan to slow down the mail, raise prices, and reduce service in rural, Black and Brown communities. President Biden’s new nominees to the postal board, Dan Tangherlini (D) and Derek Kan (R), a protege of Republican Leader Mitch McConnell operative, won’t either.

Ron Bloom’s departure does not remove Louis DeJoy as postmaster general, but it does weaken his mandate. If Daniel Tangherlini is confirmed, there will likely be three board members seeking to protect and expand the postal service: Ronald Stroman (Biden D), Anton Hajjar (Biden D), and presumably Tangherlini (Biden D).

Amber McReynolds (Biden Ind.) has not yet shown her cards publicly. Governors Robert Duncan (Trump R), William Zollars (Trump R), and Lee Moak (Trump D), and now presumably Derek Kan (Biden R), are all firmly in DeJoy’s camp. DeJoy and Douglas Tulino, the deputy PMG, sit on the board and can vote on the 10 year plan and management decisions, but they must recuse themselves on Postmaster General hiring and firing. In short, a majority of the board of governors is still firmly behind Louis DeJoy’s leadership.

The Save the Post Office Coalition came together last summer after Louis DeJoy was appointed Postmaster General and began cutting service and slowing down the mail. The coalition’s membership includes over 300 organizations that range from national groups like Public Citizen, ACLU, NAACP, Indivisible, MoveOn, Color of Change, the American Postal  Workers Union, National Farmers Union, VoteVets, and, to state groups like Mainers for Accountable Leadership, Alaska PIRG, and Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. Our asks of Congress and the Biden administration are here.

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