Louis DeJoy’s critics still want the Trump ally 'removed' for screwing up the US Postal Service: report

Louis DeJoy’s critics still want the Trump ally 'removed' for screwing up the US Postal Service: report

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has slammed Donald Trump ally Louis DeJoy as “the worst postmaster general in American history.” But ten months into Joe Biden’s presidency, DeJoy remains in that position — and some postal workers, according to The Nation’s John Nichols, are wondering why he has yet to be removed.

“DeJoy sparked widespread criticism last year, after it was revealed that he had ordered the decommissioning of more than 600 mail sorting machines across the country, the removal of mail collection boxes in dozens of communities, and scheduling changes that Forbes reported ‘resulted in widespread mail delays and accusations that the Trump Administration is seeking to hobble the agency ahead of (the 2020) Election Day to hinder the delivery of mail-in ballots,'” Nichols explains in a recent article. “Under pressure from postal unions and Congress, the postmaster general ‘paused’ many of those moves in the fall of 2020.”

During the November/December 2020 holiday season in the U.S., there were countless complaints about how badly DeJoy had screwed up the U.S. Postal Service. Utility bills that had typically been arriving two or three weeks before they were due were arriving two or three weeks after they were due.

“Since March of this year,” Nichols observes, “he’s been promoting a ten-year ‘reorganization’ plan for the Postal Service that would slow down delivery times for first-class mail, hike postage rates, and reduce hours for post offices. The postmaster general and his cronies have tried to portray the proposed changes as a streamlining project, but The Washington Post correctly characterized it as a strategic initiative ‘that diminishes delivery standards and raises prices.’ The effect of those changes makes this — in the words of Chuck Zlatkin, the legislative and political director for the New York Metro Area Postal Union — ‘DeJoy’s ten-year plan for the de facto privatization of the Post Office.’ The threat has stirred an outcry, and led to loud calls for DeJoy’s removal.”

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Although DeJoy can be removed from his position, Biden doesn’t have the power to fire him directly. Directly firing a postmaster that isn’t among the executive powers that Biden enjoys as president of the United States. Nichols notes, however, that Biden does have the power to “appoint board members who can make the change.”

According to Nichols, Biden “took that step last Friday, nominating Daniel Tangherlini and Derek Kan to replace two board members who have been aligned with the postmaster general: Ron Bloom, the current chair of the governing board, and John Barger.”

“On a board where no more than five of the nine members can be members of one party, Tangherlini, who served as administrator of the United States General Services Administration under President Obama, will join as a Democrat,” Nichols observes. “Kan, who received appointments from the Obama and Trump Administrations, will serve as a Republican. If the Senate approves Biden’s nominations, the board will retain a 4-4 partisan split, along with one Biden-appointed independent. But these nominations have the potential to tip the balance against DeJoy because Bloom, though a Democrat, has backed the postmaster general’s agenda.”

Sanders has said that the U.S. needs “a postmaster general who will protect and strengthen the Postal Service, not sabotage it.” The Vermont senator and 2016/2020 presidential candidate, in fact, has called for the U.S. Postal Service to be expanded instead of downsized.

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Nichols writes, “The USPS should also be allowed to develop new services…. The Democrats can also reinstate overnight delivery and improve service standards as part of a smart and necessary modernization program…. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night should stay the work of removing DeJoy and the threat he poses to the swift delivery of our mail — and the future of the USPS.”

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