Chairwoman Maloney Introduces New Postal Bills
Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, has introduced new postal bills:
- The Vote by Mail Tracking Act will make it easier for election officials and voters to track the status of their ballots and for the Postal Service to identify, process, and deliver ballots more effectively. The legislation has been included in an amendment to H.R. 1, the For the People Act.
- The Nonpartisan Postmaster General Act would designate the Postal Service Board of Governors, the Postmaster General, and the Deputy Postmaster General as “further restricted employees” under the Hatch Act to prevent them from holding any political position while in office and to ensure that these positions are filled by qualified experts rather than political operatives.
Postal Workers Support Maloney “Discussion Draft” on Postal Service Finances
In addition to these two bills, Chairwoman Maloney continues to work on draft legislation to place the Postal Service on a more sustainable financial footing, with provisions on Medicare integration, repealing the requirement for the Postal Service to pre-fund retiree health care, and enhancing transparency for service performance standards.
At a hearing on February 24, 2021, Mark Dimondstein, the President of the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO, testified in strong support of Medicare integration, saying it “would be good for workers, good for the Postal Service, and good for the future.” He also said postal workers support eliminating pre-funded retiree healthcare, calling it “unfair, draconian, and unprecedented.” Other postal labor leaders also support the bill:
- National Association of Retired Federal Employees (NARFE): “Together, the changes to the Medicare integration provisions and the repeal of the prefunding mandate significantly improve upon past postal reform bills. Furthermore, the discussion draft as written would provide much-needed financial relief to the U.S. Postal Service. NARFE urges members of Congress to maintain these improvements. We look forward to reviewing the final bill and hope to support the committee’s postal reform bill once it is introduced.”
- National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC): “The inclusion of [prefunding] repeal would be a major victory for NALC. As letter carriers recall, the USPS Fairness Act passed the House with a strong, bipartisan majority last year, paving the way for its inclusion in this year’s postal reform efforts.”
The Need for Leadership Change at the Postal Service
Quote from Chairwoman Maloney: “I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Louis DeJoy should not be the Postmaster General. His disastrous changes to the Postal Service last summer caused chaos and confusion and severely hampered the timely delivery of the mail. That’s why I sent a letter to the Senate urging them to swiftly confirm President Biden’s nominees to the Postal Service Board of Governors as soon as possible.”
As the Washington Post reported last summer, “Maloney also urged the Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service to immediately suspend DeJoy, whom “they never should have hired in the first place’.” She also said: “Any other CEO would be fired by now if they went into a job and immediately brought changes that brought down the productivity of their company.”
Chairwoman Maloney has led the charge in holding DeJoy accountable for causing nationwide delays. She called the hearing where he finally admitted that delays caused by his sweeping changes were far worse than expected, and she issued a subpoena for documents that are now being produced. She has also released new documents and successfully passed bipartisan legislation to provide the Postal Service more funding.
Since only the Board of Governors can remove the Postmaster General, Chairwoman Maloney sent a letter urging Chairman Gary Peters of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to swiftly confirm President Biden’s nominees. She wrote:
“I am writing to express my strong support for President Joe Biden’s nominees to the Postal Service Board of Governors— Ron Stroman, Anton Hajjar, and Amber McReynolds—and to urge you to hold confirmation hearings as soon as possible. They bring unique perspectives to the operations and public service mission of the Postal Service and provide much needed diversity to the Board of Governors. I strongly commend President Biden for his choices. The swift confirmation of these nominees is critical to address the dual financial and service crises it faces.”