President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced three nominees to fill most of the vacancies on the US Postal Service Board of Governors, fulfilling a promise that the administration would make the board and the agency a priority in the early days of his presidency.
The nominees include Ron Stroman, the former deputy postmaster general who resigned under the previous administration; Anton Hajjar, the former general counsel of American Postal Workers Union; and Amber McReynolds, CEO of the National Vote at Home Institute.
The nominations come amid public outcry over delayed mail and increased pressure on Biden from Democratic lawmakers and postal service unions to take action to improve the USPS.
On Tuesday, the American Postal Workers Union called on Biden to swiftly fill the board's four vacancies. Some Democratic lawmakers have gone further, calling on Biden to remove Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.
If confirmed, his nominees will answer calls to diversify the board and alleviate concerns of the unions, who have complained that the current Trump-appointed board had no one with previous postal service experience serving on it.
"I encourage you to ensure your appointees are reflective of the 600,000 dedicated workers they will lead," Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley wrote in a letter Biden last week. "We need a Board of Governors that includes women, people of color, and individuals who have direct experience working for the USPS and serving our communities."
The nominations come after a heated day on Capitol Hill, where DeJoy appeared in front of the House Oversight Committee to discuss improving the USPS. DeJoy sparred with Democratic lawmakers over woefully slow mail delivery rates, the 2020 election and his forthcoming 10-year plan to overhaul the Postal Service.
Last week, scores of Democratic lawmakers sent two separate letters to DeJoy and Biden, filled with grievances about the postmaster general and urging the President to take action amid months of complaints over mail delivery delays.
"It is your duty, first and foremost, to protect service and ensure timely mail delivery for every person in this nation," 34 Democratic senators wrote in a letter to DeJoy, acknowledging that USPS "fulfilled its duties during the 2020 general election and executed extraordinary measures to prioritize timely delivery of election mail" but that concerns remain about delivery delays.
That letter was sent after a group of 80 House Democrats sent a separate letter to Biden in which they urged him to fill vacancies on the board of governors so new members can "seriously consider" DeJoy's future.
The President does not have the power to remove the postmaster general. Only the Postal Service Board of Governors -- which is comprised of members nominated by the President and confirmed in the Senate -- has the power to do so, and DeJoy continues to have the support of the Trump-appointed board.
On Wednesday, DeJoy made it clear he has no intention of leaving willingly. When asked how much longer he intended to stay, DeJoy responded: "A long time, get used to me."