Senator Tom Carper, the outgoing chairman of the Senate committee that oversees the USPS, warned his colleagues yesterday that if they don’t act soon to approve appointments to the USPS Board of Governors, the Board will be unable to conduct business. The speech came after the Carper committee approved the nomination of lobbyist and New Mexico GOP boss Mickey Barnett for another term on the board:
“I’d like to spend some time on the floor today discussing Mr. Barnett’s nomination, and those of several other lower-profile nominees that we urgently need to confirm as soon as we can. Mr. Barnett is among a group of five bipartisan nominees to the Postal Board of Governors – two Republicans and three Democrats. If we don’t confirm Mr. Barnett and his colleagues by December 8th, Mr. Barnett – currently the Board’s chairman – would be forced the leave the Board. If that happens, the Board will no longer have enough members to achieve a quorum and won’t be able to conduct business. At a time when the Postal Service is struggling to address a number of financial challenges and to adapt to the digital age, this would be an avoidable disaster.
“Today, because of our inability here in Congress to come to consensus on postal reform legislation, the Postal Service is just twisting in the wind, able to do only so much to address the financial challenges it faces and transform itself for the digital age. Customers are left with uncertainty, then, about what the future holds for the Postal Service. We would make that uncertainty even worse if December 8th comes and goes and our five Postal Board nominees are still waiting for us to act.
“The same goes for our nominees to fill vacancies on the Postal Regulatory Commission, Nanci Langley and Tony Hammond. They’ve been waiting since the spring of 2013 to be confirmed, and the Commission has been working with only three commissioners as a result.