Government affairs

Legislative Updates

Senate considers Postal Board of Governors nominations

On Wednesday, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee (HSGAC) addressed several issues in its final business meeting before Congress’ August recess, including the pending nominations of four Postal Board of Governors members. The nominees are James Miller III, Stephen Crawford, Michael Bennett and Victoria Kennedy.

Although these are technically “presidential nominees,” it is established practice that the Senate majority and minority leaders choose from their parties board nominees whom the president then formally nominates.

Consideration of the appointees kicked off on July 14, when HSGAC held a hearing to allow each nominee to testify on a wide range of postal reform topics, including various elements of S. 1486, HSGAC Chairman Tom Carper (D-DE) and Ranking Member Tom Coburn’s postal bill. Nominees shed some light on their positions regarding six-day mail delivery, mail service standards, mail processing plants, pricing, innovation and Medicare integration.

However, based on the responses nominees provided during the hearing, the NALC is still unclear on the positions of two of the nominees.

To ensure that letter carriers’ concerns are considered, NALC President Fredric Rolando submitted a letter to Sen. Carper and Coburn to express our views on the nominees.

Of particular concern is Miller, a Republican appointee who is seeking a second term to the board. Miller now serves on the board of the American National Standards Institute, and he represents trade associations and corporate interests such as Apple, Exxon Mobil and Verizon. During Miller’s previous tenure on the board, he led a drive to contract out postal jobs and to decrease services.

As for Kennedy, the NALC has indicated its support for her nomination based on her responses and their consistency with our priorities.

For the two remaining nominees, Crawford and Bennett, the NALC will seek additional information to ascertain whether their views support the mission of letter carriers.

It was expected that the nominees would have been confirmed prior to the August recess, but objections were raised over some of the nominees, most pointedly Miller. In turn, political maneuvering seems to have placed an indefinite hold on the block of nominees.

We will keep you posted on any activity or information regarding the nominees or on any movement in the process.

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