Friday, November 19, 2021

Biden Tells USPS Board Chairman Bloom, You’re Fired

Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate two new members to the United States Postal Service (USPS) Board of Governors to replace Governors Ron Bloom and John Barger when their terms expire in December.

  • Daniel Tangherlini, Nominee for Governor, United States Postal Service
  • Derek Kan, Nominee for Governor, United States Postal Service

The Washington Post first broke the news early Friday morning that Pres. Joe Biden would not reappoint United States Postal Service (USPS) Board of Governors Chairman Ron A. Bloom to a new seven year term. Bloom’s term as a board member is set to expire December 8, 2021. Biden will instead nominate a new person to take his place on the board.

In the first months of his administration Biden filled three open seats on the U.S. Postal Service’s board of governors. Even with Biden's three appointees — Ron Stroman, a former deputy postmaster general; Amber McReynolds, the CEO of Vote at Home, an organization that promotes voting by mail; and Anton Hajjar, the former general counsel for the American Postal Workers Union — the majority of the board members, all appointed by Pres. Trump, by a margin of two, support Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's moves to lower USPS service levels and increase costs to mail letters and packages. But that’s all about to change.

Bloom, a conservative Wall Street Democrat, was nominated to the Postal Service Board of Governors by Pres. Trump, confirmed by the Senate and began his service Aug. 20, 2019. Bloom served the remainder of a then vacant seat seven-year term that expired Dec. 8, 2020, and is currently serving a one year holdover term. He was elected on Feb. 9, 2021 by his fellow Trump appointed Governors to serve as the 24th Chairman of the Board of Governors.

Bloom shares responsiblity with Postmaster General DeJoy for reducing mail service levels and hiking mail rates, actions DeJoy began to implement in the summer of 2020, immediately after then Pres. Donald Trump appointed him to the position.

Bloom has resolutely proclaimed his support for DeJoy’s very unpopular 10-year USPS restructuring plan — which will reduce post office hours, slow mail delivery times, close small town rural post offices, and raise postage rates. Bloom coauthored the plan’s introduction, pitched it to key stakeholders, and defended it alongside DeJoy himself in press interviews. He reportedly also had a quiet but crucial role crafting DeJoy's plan. Bloom has made it clear he has no intention of allowing any board action to remove Postmaster DeJoy from his position, an action that can only be taken by the USPS Board of Governors.

On November 10, 2021, the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) nine member board of governors, dominated by six of former President Donald Trump appointees, reappointed Ron A. Bloom as Board Chairman for another year. The move clearly signaled they intend to reappoint Bloom to another one year holdover term on December 8, should Biden not appoint someone else to replace Bloom. The Washington Post reports that “Bloom as recently as last week told confidants he expected to be renominated, said one person familiar with his conversations.

Pres. Biden’s move to replace Bloom could be the first step in the process of both removing DeJoy as head of the Post Office and scraping his 10-year plan. Biden has not explicitly stated that removing DeJoy is one of his top priorities, but members of his administration have implied that it is.

White House spokesperson Jen Psaki admitted to reporters, shortly after Biden announced his two new USPS board nominees, “We’re of course deeply troubled – continue to be deeply troubled as many Americans are – by the early reporting of Postmaster General DeJoy’s potential financial conflicts of interest and take serious issues with the job he’s doing running the Postal Service.” In February, when asked directly about Biden’s position on the postmaster general, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded that the president “believes leadership [at USPS] can do better.”

Pres. Biden has the opportunity to replace two DeJoy supporting members of the board by the end of 2021. In addition to Bloom, Trump appointee John Barger — who also supports DeJoy and his 10-year plan — also reaches the end of his appointed term on the board in December. Biden can increase his Board appointees to a majority of five board members who can vote to replace Postmaster DeJoy and scrap his 10-year plan.

The Board consists of up to nine governors appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, and no more than five governors may be from the same party. The board currently has four Democrats, four Republicans, and one independent. If confirmed by the Senate, Biden’s two new nominees would not change the political composition of the board.

Daniel Tangherlini, Nominee for Governor, United States Postal Service

Dan Tangherlini, a Democrat, has served in leadership roles in the public, non-profit and private sectors. His interest is in bringing increased equity and efficiency to business, philanthropy, and government through the thoughtful application of technology, process and systems reform.

His private sector work experience includes various roles in technology firms and providing consulting and facilitation support to businesses and nonprofits with an emphasis on finance and real estate. His government experience includes serving as the Administrator of the General Services Administration and Chief Financial Officer at the Department of the Treasury, as City Administrator and Deputy Mayor of Washington, D.C. under Mayor Fenty; as Interim General Manager of DC’s Metro; the first Director of the D.C. Department of Transportation; the CFO of the DC Metropolitan Police Department; and various roles in the Federal Government at the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

Tangherlini received a B.A. and M.A. in public policy studies from the University of Chicago, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Dan and his wife have two daughters.

Derek Kan, Nominee for Governor, United States Postal Service

Derek Kan, a Republican, is currently an executive at Deliverr, an ecommerce fulfillment startup. Prior to this role, Mr. Kan served as Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Executive Office of the President and also served as the Under Secretary at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Prior to his service, Mr. Kan was the General Manager for Lyft and a Director of the Amtrak Board, for which he was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Kan was a policy advisor to the former Senate Majority Leader. Before his time on Capitol Hill, Mr. Kan served as a Presidential Management Fellow at the White House Office of Management and Budget. Mr. Kan received a B.S. from the University of Southern California, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar.

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