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Biden nominates new chair for Postal Service Board, ousts DeJoy's allies

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is losing a key ally on the Postal Service's Board of Governors.
Jim Watson
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is losing a key ally on the Postal Service's Board of Governors.

President Biden announced Friday the nomination of two new members to the Postal Service Board of Governors, including a new chairman, which could spell the end of Louis DeJoy's controversial tenure as postmaster general.

Biden nominated Daniel Tangherlini, a Democrat, to replace board Chair Ron Bloom, whose term is expiring. Bloom is also a Democrat, but has been a key ally of DeJoy's.

Biden also nominated Derek Kan, a Republican, to replace Republican John Barger, whose term is also expiring.

Tangherlini was administrator of the General Services Administration during the Obama administration, and Kan served as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget and as an undersecretary at the Department of Transportation in the Trump administration.

DeJoy was a major donor to the Trump campaign as well as other GOP groups. He angered Democrats by proposing sharp reductions in mail service before the 2020 election, in which voting by mail became a necessity for many because of the coronavirus pandemic. DeJoy's proposals were reversed under pressure from lawmakers and after a number of court orders.

He has more recently been criticized for his 10-year plan to reorganize the Postal Service, which has led to a slowdown in some mail deliveries as well as higher rates for first class mail and packages.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration "continues to be deeply troubled" by reports of DeJoy's conflicts of interest and has "serious issues with the job he's doing running the Postal Service."

DeJoy's critics lauded the administration's unexpected moves.

Porter McConnell of the Save the Post Office Campaign said: "President Biden has listened to the millions of people across the nation demanding a return to the quiet competence of the post office before Louis DeJoy and his friend Ron Bloom took a wrecking ball to it. Ron Bloom has no place in the USPS's future, and we are glad to see his tenure in the past."

Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va., who chairs the Oversight subcommittee that oversees the Post Office said that he was "tickled pink that two DeJoy enablers have been replaced," calling it a "great thing for the American people."

It's up to the Board of Governors to name the postmaster general. If Biden's new nominees are approved, the board will maintain its current composition of four Democrats, four Republicans and an independent. But by replacing Bloom, Biden may have tilted the balance on the board in favor of a new postmaster general.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NPR News' Brian Naylor is a correspondent on the Washington Desk. In this role, he covers politics and federal agencies.

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