Carper: Selections will drive innovation and help “get the Postal Service back to its core mission”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a speech yesterday, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), senior member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) and longtime advocate for the Postal Service, applauded the Senate’s confirmations of Ron Stroman and Amber McReynolds to seats on the Board of Governors for the United States Postal Service (USPS). In the speech, Carper highlighted that after a year of adversity at USPS, these nominees are ready to help the Postal Service both drive innovation and return to its core mission of reliable mail and package service.
“The United States Postal Service has had a profoundly challenging year,” Carper said. “…In Delaware, veterans of our Armed Forces had to wait longer for lifesaving medications in delayed packages. Our Delaware Congressional Delegation has heard from constituents who have missed paychecks, credit card bills, and court notices. These impacts are unacceptable, and they were driven by the pandemic and by misguided decisions largely made at the very top of the U.S. Postal Service.”
Carper continued, “By selecting these nominees for the Postal Service’s Board of Governors, it is clear that President Biden recognizes the dire need to get the Postal Service back to its core mission: Reliable, affordable, and on-time mail delivery service for Americans across our nation. These well-qualified nominees also make clear President Biden’s desire to drive innovation at the Postal Service that can keep costs low while boosting revenue opportunities and protecting the livelihoods of the men and women who work tirelessly to deliver our mail.”
Carper in March criticized Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s proposed 10-year plan, saying that “The initiatives the Postmaster General seeks to put into place like limiting operating hours and lowering service standards will further harm service for Americans, especially our seniors, small businesses, veterans and rural communities, who depend on this critical service.”
A third nominee, Anton Hajjar, is expected to receive Senate consideration later this work period.
Watch the full speech by clicking here. The full text of the speech, as prepared for delivery, can be found below.
“Mr. President: I rise in support of the two U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors nominees before the Senate today, as well as a third nominee under consideration later this month.
“The United States Postal Service has had a profoundly challenging year. A global pandemic, drastic reforms made without full knowledge of their service impacts, and a busy holiday season created tremendous challenges for this venerable institution.
“Delays in mail and package delivery increased last year, while employees struggled with the effects of the pandemic on themselves and their families. At a time when reliance on mail and package delivery was perhaps higher than ever, the Postal Service struggled to deliver mail and packages in a timely and predictable manner.
“Delays in mail service have real-world impacts, Mr. President, in communities large and small.
“In Delaware, veterans of our Armed Forces had to wait longer for lifesaving medications in delayed packages. Our Delaware Congressional Delegation has heard from constituents who have missed paychecks, credit card bills, and court notices. Mom and pop shops in my state have suffered from delayed deliveries of important supplies needed to run their businesses. Many poultry farmers, particularly in the more rural parts of Delaware, were shocked to find that baby chicks had died in the course of delayed postal deliveries to their farms.
“These impacts are unacceptable, and they were driven by the pandemic and by misguided decisions largely made at the very top of the U.S. Postal Service.
“Further, Postmaster General DeJoy released in March a 10-year strategic plan that doesn’t do enough to address the significant operational challenges being faced right now at the U.S. Postal Service. The plan limits operating hours and lowers service standards, which would harm many seniors and rural Delawareans up and down our state. If implemented, such a plan would make it harder, not easier, to restore confidence in the Postal Service.
“Fast forward to today. By selecting these nominees for the Postal Service’s Board of Governors, it is clear that President Biden recognizes the dire need to get the Postal Service back to its core mission: Reliable, affordable, and on-time mail delivery service for Americans across our nation. These well-qualified nominees also make clear President Biden’s desire to drive innovation at the Postal Service that can keep costs low while boosting revenue opportunities and protecting the livelihoods of the men and women who work tirelessly to deliver our mail.
“Ron Stroman is himself a former Deputy Postmaster General, a role he served in from 2011 to 2020. A longtime federal servant, Mr. Stroman has intimate knowledge of this institution and how to make long-lasting positive changes in large organizations like the U.S. Postal Service.
“Amber McReynolds is currently the CEO for the National Vote at Home Institute and Coalition, which works to make it easier for Americans to vote securely, safely, and conveniently. Delivering ballots by mail is one of the most solemn obligations that the Postal Service has.
“Finally, Mr. Anton Hajjar is the third nominee, whose nomination we are considering later this work period. Mr. Hajjar is the former General Counsel of the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO, where he fought to make sure that our mail carriers and other postal employees get the support they deserve.
“At a hearing we had last month in the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, I was thoroughly impressed with each of these nominees, and their knowledge of the needs of the Postal Service. All three nominees exhibited the professionalism, expertise and leadership we need at the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors.
“Further, each of these three nominees agree that the Postal Service has tremendous opportunities ahead of it. The Postal Service is currently in the midst of a once in a lifetime update to the postal delivery vehicle, with a prime opportunity to be a leader in the fight against climate change.
“The Postal Service will replace up to 165,000 vehicles, many of which are over twenty five years old, through investments in a low emission or no emission fleet powered by battery or hydrogen fuel cells.
“These nominees also agree that the Postal Service has an obligation to work with Congress to enact important postal reform legislation, which would help the agency save tens of billions of dollars over the next ten years. How? By better integrating postal retirees’ healthcare with the Medicare program, and by repealing a burdensome retiree health benefit obligation.
“I often refer to a saying made popular by Albert Einstein:, ‘In adversity lies opportunity.’ The United States Postal Service has faced a considerable amount of adversity in the last two decades, Mr. President. This has been perhaps one of the most difficult stretches in its long and storied history. We have an opportunity in the Senate to confirm three well-qualified public servants who will be ready on Day One to ensure this invaluable institution is able to meet its vital mission.
“I am proud to support them, and I urge my colleagues to do the same.
“With that, Mr. President, I yield the floor.”