HENRICO, V.A. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today joined an effort calling on President Joe Biden to fill existing U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Board of Governors vacancies as quickly as possible.
According to recent reports, U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is planning to enact operational changes at the USPS that would slow mail delivery and service – as well as increase consumer costs. In recent months, Spanberger’s office has received hundreds of individual emails and calls from Central Virginians expressing concerns about ongoing delays at USPS.
In a letter sent to President Biden, Spanberger and 79 of her colleagues urged President Biden to quickly nominate strong USPS advocates to fill vacancies on the institution’s Board of Governors, which has the power to appoint and dismiss the Postmaster General and the Deputy Postmaster General.
“We do not doubt that the Postal Service requires some thoughtful reforms in order to continue to provide excellent service to the American people in the years to come; however, there is a plethora of evidence that Postmaster General DeJoy is not equipped to meet the rigors of these challenges,” said Spanberger and her colleagues. “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 USPS Board of Governors 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. Three of these appointed seats remain vacant.
The Spanberger-signed letter was led by U.S. Representatives Alma S. Adams (D-NC-12), Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04), and Gerry Connolly (D-VA-11).
Click here to read a copy of the letter, and the full letter text is below.
Dear President Biden,
Thank you for your dedicated efforts to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on the American people. Under your leadership, we look forward to helping our country build back better from the hardships brought about by this pandemic. In particular, we believe that the ongoing crisis at the United States Postal Service requires your immediate attention. We respectfully request that you submit nominations for the three vacant positions on the United States Postal Service’s Board of Governors to the Senate as expeditiously as possible. Nominating strong, passionate advocates for the institution to these open seats will allow it to function in a more nonpartisan, effective manner.
As you know, the Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service functions as its board of directors. The Board comprises 11 individuals, nine of whom are selected by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the Senate. As a result of the Trump Administration’s failure to fully fill the board, three of those nine seats remain vacant. We strongly believe that filling those three vacancies would enhance the ability of the Board to reach nonpartisan consensus on matters of importance.
The lack of bipartisan consensus is evident in the Board of Governors’ selection of Republican Party megadonor Louis DeJoy – who had no experience working for the Postal Service prior to his appointment – to succeed Megan Brennan as Postmaster General in June 2020. Since Mr. DeJoy assumed office, he has, under the guise of enacting needed reforms, rapidly transformed the Postal Service to the detriment of Americans. Critically, the on-time delivery of flat mail has plunged drastically1; veterans, who rely almost exclusively on the Postal Service to receive their medications through the VA, have faced life-threatening delays in receiving those parcels; and the public perception pertaining to the integrity of the 2020 general election was threatened by the impact of these delays on the timely delivery of mail-in ballots.
Now more than ever, it is the responsibility of the federal government to ensure USPS can maintain its high service standards when Americans – especially seniors, veterans, and those in rural communities – are relying on the efficient and timely delivery of bills, parcels, and medication from the Postal Service. We do not doubt that the Postal Service requires some thoughtful reforms in order to continue to provide excellent service to the American people in the years to come; however, there is a plethora of evidence that Postmaster General DeJoy is not equipped to meet the rigors of these challenges. 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.
We thank you for your consideration of this important request and look forward to working with you as you take decisive steps to secure one of our country’s oldest, most cherished, and most valuable public institutions.
Spanberger has long been vocal about the numerous ways that weakening the USPS harms constituents in Central Virginia, including by:
- Gathering feedback from Central Virginians on mail delivery and service issues. In August 2020, Spanberger announced the initial results of her constituent survey on the USPS and reports of recent slowdowns in service. Her survey was launched in response to an outpouring of concern from Central Virginia residents about the steps Postmaster General DeJoy had taken to weaken the USPS. Within a matter of days, more than 800 people responded to the survey to report mail delays and share stories about why the USPS matters to them
- Voting to protect USPS delivery standards. Last year, Spanberger cosponsored and voted to pass the Delivering for America Act, which would prohibit the USPS from making any structural changes impacting its service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation seeks to stabilize the USPS at a time when many Americans are relying on home deliveries and reliable mail service more than ever, and seeks to prevent any targeted structural changes that would weaken the USPS.
- Pushing to maintain USPS operations in Central Virginia and across the country. In May 2020, Spanberger joined fellow Members of the Virginia delegation in calling on congressional leadership to include provisions guaranteeing the solvency and continuation of the USPS in an upcoming COVID-19 recovery package.