Government affairs

Legislative Updates

Senate Holds Hearing for USPS BOG and OPM Director Nominees

Today, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs held a hearing to consider the nominations of Anton Hajjar, Amber McReynolds and Ronald Stroman to the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors (BOG), and the nomination of Kiran Ahuja to be Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Anton Hajjar is the former general counsel of the American Postal Workers Union. Hajjar’s experience includes pro bono representation of victims of employment discrimination, including Arab and Muslim-Americans after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He currently serves on the American Law Institute’s governing board.

Amber McReynolds is one of the country’s leading experts on election administration/policy and co-author of the book When Women Vote. She is the CEO for the National Vote at Home Institute and Coalition and is the former Director of Elections for Denver, Colorado where she developed the nation’s most sophisticated vote by mail system.

Ron Stroman is the former Deputy Postmaster General and Chief Government Relations Officer for the Postal Service. He retired in 2020. Prior to joining USPS, Stroman worked on Capitol Hill, serving the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Judiciary Committee. In addition, Stroman also served in the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. Stroman also led the Biden-Harris transition team for the Postal Service, which also included NALC Chief of Staff Jim Sauber.

In his opening statement, Hajjar referenced the opportunities within USPS to grow business and improve service for the American people. McReynolds mentioned the crucial role USPS plays in our democracy by delivering ballots and emphasized that universal service obligation is a top priority. Stroman spoke about the commitment and resilience of USPS employees, his experience with the Postal Service, and his goal to work in a bipartisan manner to regain financial stability, improve operations, and grow business for USPS.

“The Postal Service and its dedicated workers continue facing unique challenges that have been compounded by the ongoing pandemic,” said Chairman Gary Peters (D-MI). “It is essential that nominees to the Board of Governors are qualified leaders who will focus on service, and work with Congress to ensure our postal workforce has the right support to deliver for the American people each and every day.”

Ranking Rob Portman (R-OH) also emphasized the important role of the BOG. “Providing high-quality mail and package services to all Americans remains vital. If confirmed, you have a challenging road ahead, and I hope you will work closely with us, and your colleagues already on the Board, to see it through,” he said.

During the hearing, the nominees were questioned on a range of topics including declining service quality, the universal service obligation, and opportunities for enhancements and innovations within USPS.

When questioned about the challenge of improving service, McReynolds mentioned the importance of access and her personal experience growing up in a rural community. She repeatedly stated the importance of engaging with stakeholders, especially rural customers. “We have to balance the needs of rural communities with urban communities and consider the variances that might exist across the country, in terms of enhancing service for the American people and building trust with the public on the Postal Service and the service that they are offering,” she said.

Stroman echoed the need to engage with stakeholders to improve service and focused on the critical role Congress plays in implementing postal reform and the important relationship between Congress and USPS. “Ultimately, part of the financial stability of the Postal Service rests in Congress's passing postal reform. In order for that to happen, Congress needs to understand and communicate clearly with the Postal Service,” he said.

The three nominees agreed that improving service was one of their top priorities and committed to working with the BOG and Congress to do so if confirmed. In a response to a question from Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA) about declining service standards, Hajjar said, “Service is the most important function of the Postal Service, of course, prompt, reliable and efficient service. We have to get to the bottom of why there were problems, and we have to be sure to correct them.”

During the hearing, there were also questions regarding the Postmaster General and the previous removal of collection boxes. In response, the three nominees reiterated their commitment to working with the Postmaster General, the BOG, and stakeholders to improve service if appointed.

Ahuja, an attorney who served as the Chief of Staff to the OPM Director from 2015-2017 and served six years as the director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, was also questioned throughout the hearing. If confirmed, Ahuja would lead OPM, the federal agency that provides human resources policy and manages healthcare, life insurance, and retirement benefits for federal employees and retirees.  

Regarding postal employees, Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) asked Ahuja to commit to reviewing a recommendation to adopt private sector pension allocation for USPS if confirmed. NALC supports this change.

The committee is scheduled to vote on these nominations on April 28 before advancing to the full Senate for a confirmation vote. NALC is hopeful for a swift confirmation process, which would give the USPS a fully appointed Board of Governors for the first time in years.

A full video of the hearing is available here.


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