Senator Carper Speaks on Senate Floor In Support of Robert Taub and Thomas G. Day’s Confirmation to the Postal Regulatory Commission
Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del) spoke on the Senate floor to advocate for the confirmation of Robert Taub and Thomas G. Day to serve as Commissioners of the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). Taub has served two terms on the PRC, including six years as Chairman, and has spent more than 40 years in public service. Day served 35 years in several senior roles at the Postal Service, including as Chief Sustainability Officer, and is a U.S. Army veteran. Recently, Senator Carper spoke at Taub and Day’s nomination hearings before the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, where he highlighted the urgency of their Senate confirmations.
Read Senator Carper’s remarks as prepared below and watch the full floor speech here.
I am here today to urge my Senate colleagues to join me to confirm Commissioner Robert Taub and Mr. Thomas G. Day to serve on the Postal Regulatory Commission. Both of these public servants have spent decades bettering our country: Mr. Taub has served on the Commission since 2011, and served as its Chairman for more than 6 years; and Mr. Day has spent over 35 years at the Postal Service. I would like to add that we have unanimously confirmed Mr. Taub twice before, and there is no doubt that he has served our country well.
Now, I want to share three stories with you: one about the history and importance of the Postal Service; another about Mr. Taub’s role in making the agency what it is today; and a third about Mr. Day’s influence on the function of our postal system across the country.
In December 1787, our countrymen in Philadelphia sent the Constitution to Dover, Delaware. Shortly after, we adopted it unanimously and sent it off to the other colonies. One key element of the Constitution was the creation of the Postal Service and the first Postmaster General was actually Ben Franklin!
The establishment of the Postal Service promised to bind us together as a nation, to unite us in communication with one another. That work continues today as postal workers cover all 50 states and U.S. territories for six days every week, delivering the mail that helps our businesses thrive and our democracy function.
Now, a few centuries later, we are continuing to live up to this promise.
In 2006, Senator Susan Collins and I led the passage of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. This legislation modernized the Postal Service for the first time since 1970. And just last year, we passed the Postal Service Reform Act to shore up the agency’s financial foundation, including a requirement for all Postal Service retirees to enroll in Medicare when they become eligible for benefits.
I’ve also worked with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the Commission to make the agency more energy efficient. Together, we successfully secured billions of dollars to expand the number of electric vehicles in Postal Service’s delivery fleet.
But only with strong leadership, like that shown by Mr. Taub and Mr. Day, can we continue to fulfill the promise laid out centuries ago.
I’m going to tell you a little more about Mr. Taub and how he has been integral to the change we’ve seen in the Postal Service – especially as it has become more modern and more efficient.
After spending years as a staffer to members of Congress and ambassadors, and working for the Government Accountability Office, Mr. Taub – a native New Yorker – became Chief of Staff to Representative John McHugh. Under Representative McHugh’s leadership, Mr. Taub helped craft the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act in the House of Representatives. This was the same legislation I worked on with Senator Collins, and together with Representative McHugh and his team, we ushered the bill to the President’s desk where it was signed into law in 2006.
This transformation of the Postal Service was just the beginning for Mr. Taub. After establishing his expertise in the public sector, he continued this work when Representative McHugh was appointed Secretary of the Army. As Secretary McHugh’s principal civilian advisor, Mr. Taub helped lead a workforce of more than 1.2 million people and manage an annual budget exceeding $200 billion. And for his exemplary work, Mr. Taub was awarded the Army’s Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service.
All of this led to Mr. Taub serving on the Postal Regulatory Commission under three Presidents, including both Democrats and Republicans. He was first nominated to the Commission in 2011, and his strong leadership led to his appointment as Chairman of the Commission in 2014.
As I like to say, “In adversity lies opportunity.” And despite the troubles left over from a previous Chairman, Mr. Taub took adversity in stride. He embraced the role of Chairman with diligence and grace. He led a massive undertaking to study and revise the postal rate system as a result of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act he helped to pass. And in 2016, his work paid off when he was once again confirmed to the Commission to continue his service as Chairman.
Mr. Day has had an incredible record with the Postal Service as well. In his 35 years at the agency, he has held almost every role imaginable, including as the Vice President of the Engineering department and the Government Affairs department, as well as the Chief Sustainability Officer. And in his role on the sustainability team, Mr. Day helped lead the Postal Service into the environmentally conscious practices of the 21st Century.
As Chairman of the Environmental and Public Works committee, I know the importance of our agencies carrying out practices that protect our planet. Mr. Day shares this belief and understands it firsthand. For example, he’s been working to reduce the fuel emissions of the aging Postal fleet for over a decade.
Let me be clear. The kind of institutional knowledge and expertise that Mr. Day holds is unique, and would make him an extremely valuable asset on the Commission.
Mr. Day also has experience working with the exchange of mail on an international scale, serving in senior positions at the Universal Postal Union (a United Nations agency) and at the International Post Corporation. And on top of that, he is graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and has bravely served in the U.S. Army. There is no doubt that someone with his commitment to our nation would make a wonderful addition to the Postal Regulatory Commission. And together, Mr. Taub and Mr. Day will continue revising the postal rate system and modernizing the agency.
For this reason, among many others, we must confirm them both and make sure the Commission is fully staffed. Congress and Postal Service customers rely on the Commission to hold the agency accountable for its service performance and ensure its prices and practices follow the law. And it is our duty to make sure the agency can perform at the highest level, including for the good of the planet.
I like to say, “Service to others is the rent we pay for the space we take up on this earth.” I think Mr. Taub and Mr. Day’s decades of service to this country is more rent than most of us will ever pay. I urge my colleagues to confirm Mr. Taub and Mr. Day to ensure that the Postal Regulatory Commission can continue its important work to serve our country.
Thank you and God bless.