Amid Continued Mail Delays & Disruptions in Virginia, Spanberger Presses President Biden to Make USPS Nominations a First-Class Priority

Jun 24, 2024
Local Issues
Press

Only the USPS Board of Governors has the Authority to Elect or Remove the Postmaster General & Only the President of the United States Can Nominate Members to Fill Vacancies on the Board

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger pressed President Joe Biden to swiftly nominate a member to fill the second of two remaining vacancies on the Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) — the governing body authorized to elect, or remove, the Postmaster General.

The Board of Governors of the USPS is comprised of 11 individuals — including nine governors who are nominated by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Two of these appointed seats remain vacant, and only one nomination has been made by the President. Particularly amid ongoing delays and disruptions originating from the Richmond Regional Processing and Distribution Center (RPDC) that opened in Sandston, Virginia as part of Postmaster General DeJoy’s “Delivering for America Plan,” a fully staffed Board of Governors is vital to the execution of its responsibilities and its members’ oversight of the Postmaster General.

In a letter sent to President Biden, Spanberger urged the President to nominate a new member to the Board of Governors to fill the second of two remaining vacancies so that the board may consider Postmaster General DeJoy’s fitness for his role and be prepared to vote on changes in leadership, if necessary. Additionally, the Congresswoman underscored the detrimental impacts DeJoy’s consolidation at the Richmond RPDC has had on mail service for Virginians across Virginia’s Seventh District and across the Commonwealth.

“Notably, the Board of Governors is the sole entity that holds the crucial responsibility and authority to elect — and when necessary, to remove — the Postmaster General. Under the tenure of the current Postmaster General, the American people have seen our most beloved federal agency grossly mismanaged, undermined, and nearly destroyed. Virginians have suffered some of the worst consequences of Postmaster General DeJoy’s detrimental policy changes in the past year,” wrote Spanberger. “In July 2023, the first Regional Processing and Distribution Center (RPDC) site in the nation began operating in Richmond, Virginia as a result of DeJoy’s new consolidation project under his 10-year Delivering for America Plan. The destructive consequences of this problematic model became immediately evident — with Virginia becoming the worst state in the nation for mail delivery following RPDC consolidation.”

Spanberger continued, “I have persistently exercised the tools of congressional oversight that are available to me as the Representative for Virginia’s Seventh District to convey my constituents’ concerns and experiences to the Postmaster General and to urge him to take corrective action. He has failed to do so, and the issues are only getting worse, not better. Since January of this year, you have had the opportunity to fill two open vacancies on the Postal Board of Governors. Without further delay, I urge you to nominate a qualified, responsible individual to fill the final remaining vacancy on the board — a process which only the President can initiate.”

In April 2024, following the release of the USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG)’s audit report assessing the effectiveness and operational impacts of the new Richmond RPDC and subsequent relaunch of her USPS survey, Spanberger received more than 1,800 responses from seniors, families, small business owners, and Veterans across Virginia detailing significant delays in deliveries and shipments of medications, bills, tax documents, checks, letters to family, and more.

Click here to read the letter, and the full letter text is below.

Dear President Biden,

Thank you for your leadership and commitment to a strong United States Postal Service (USPS), and for your recent nomination to fill one of two existing vacancies on the USPS Board of Governors. I write to urge you to swiftly follow up this action with a nomination for the second and final remaining vacancy on the board.

As you know, the Postal Board of Governors is the governing body of the USPS, overseeing its activities, controlling its expenditures, and reviewing its practices and policies. Notably, the Board of Governors is the sole entity that holds the crucial responsibility and authority to elect — and when necessary, to remove — the Postmaster General.

Under the tenure of the current Postmaster General, the American people have seen our most beloved federal agency grossly mismanaged, undermined, and nearly destroyed. Virginians have suffered some of the worst consequences of Postmaster General DeJoy’s detrimental policy changes in the past year. In July 2023, the first Regional Processing and Distribution Center (RPDC) site in the nation began operating in Richmond, Virginia as a result of DeJoy’s new consolidation project under his 10-year Delivering for America Plan. The destructive consequences of this problematic model became immediately evident — with Virginia becoming the worst state in the nation for mail delivery following RPDC consolidation.

In the months since the facility began operating, my constituents have reported extremely disruptive delays and service issues — severely worsening existing issues that they have been experiencing since the beginning of DeJoy’s term. I also hear frequent reports of mail and packages going missing altogether — leaving seniors, Veterans, families, and small business owners without important documents, critical medications, tax refunds, Social Security checks, and other items they need and without the ability to send bill payments, medical labs, customer orders, and personal letters that they had entrusted USPS to deliver. In March of this year, after nearly eight months of inconsistent and unreliable service out of the Richmond RPDC, the USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG) released an audit report assessing the facility’s effectiveness and operational impacts. The audit uncovered several significant and unacceptable issues — including a lack of adequate coordination between USPS and staff at the Richmond RPDC. These findings further underscore the need for a fully staffed governing body to conduct proper oversight of USPS operations, seriously consider Postmaster DeJoy’s fitness for his role, and be prepared to vote on changes in leadership, should that be necessary.

I have persistently exercised the tools of congressional oversight that are available to me as the Representative for Virginia’s Seventh District to convey my constituents’ concerns and experiences to the Postmaster General and to urge him to take corrective action. He has failed to do so, and the issues are only getting worse, not better. Since January of this year, you have had the opportunity to fill two open vacancies on the Postal Board of Governors. Without further delay, I urge you to nominate a qualified, responsible individual to fill the final remaining vacancy on the board — a process which only the President can initiate. A fully staffed board is vital to efficiently execute its responsibilities and enable its members’ oversight of the Postmaster General.

The American people are relying on you to ensure the Board of Governors is fully staffed with members who will hold leadership accountable and restore the United States Postal Service to the reliable, affordable, and strong public institution our nation deserves. Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.

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