Postal Updates

Trump appointees to USPS board of governors send pointed message to President Biden

Nov 16, 2021, 8 AM

Washington Postal Scene by Bill McAllister

Members of the United States Postal Service’s board of governors appointed by former President Donald Trump sent a message to President Joe Biden: They want him to reappoint the current chairman to another term on the panel.

The action, which was opposed by two of Biden’s three appointees to the board, came Nov. 10 when the board voted to extend Ron A. Bloom’s term as chairman for another year.

The problem with that vote is that Bloom’s term is set to expire Dec. 8.

Some Democratic members of Congress have urged Biden not to reappoint Bloom, a Democrat who had served in the Obama administration, because of his strong support of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

A major financial supporter of Trump and Republicans, DeJoy was selected for the top postal job by a board composed entirely of Trump appointees.

At the Nov. 10 session, the board refused to allow the Biden appointees to voice their objections to Bloom’s re-election as chairman, ruling that their objections were not in order.

The Trump appointees proceeded to re-elect Bloom and the current vice chairman, Roman Martinez IV, to additional one-year terms.

Martinez, an investment banker who was also appointed by Trump, is serving a seven-year term that will not expire until 2024.

Bloom, also an investment banker, joined the board Aug. 20, 2019. He is currently serving a holdover year that will force him off the board on Dec. 8.

None of the governors discussed the significance of the vote. However, one person speaking in a public comment session after the meeting told the board that it was sending a message to the president.

The vote came during a public meeting that focused on DeJoy’s promise that the Postal Service was ready for a flood of holiday mail, unlike the previous year when the mail service suffered serious backlogs and delays.

The board also received yet another report outlining the agency’s continuing financial problems.

For the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, the USPS sustained another multibillion dollar loss.

The loss totaled $6.9 billion, compared to an adjusted loss of $7.6 billion in fiscal year 2020.

Thanks to rate increases, the agency’s revenues hit $77 billion, a 5.3 percent increase over revenues of $73.1 billion in the previous year.

Joseph Corbett, chief financial officer of the USPS, assured the governors that, if all aspects of DeJoy’s 10-year Delivering for America plan are implemented, the USPS will make a major step next year toward cutting its deficit.

The board did not discuss what funds the agency might receive from a new Biden administration infrastructure plan, but it did endorse a capital spending plan that calls for spending $4.7 billion on new delivery vehicles next year.

DeJoy said that some vehicles will be electric. They are to replace the Postal Service’s fleet of aging delivery trucks that are prone to fires and mechanical woes.

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