Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said during a House Oversight Committee hearing Wednesday that he intends to remain in his role "for a long time" and added, "Get used to me."
But critics were quick to note that how long DeJoy remains postmaster general is ultimately up to the Postal Service Board of Governors, which is composed of up to nine Senate-confirmed officials who have the authority to remove and replace DeJoy. The postmaster general does not serve a fixed term.
Several congressional Democrats have urged Biden to fire every sitting member of the board of governors for their "complicity" in DeJoy's sweeping assault on postal operations and fill the board with officials willing to remove the postmaster general.
The president also has the option of filling existing vacancies on the board to give Democrats a majority—and the votes needed to oust DeJoy. The ACLU is among the organizations urging Biden and Democratic senators to do just that.
"It's not up to him," Ari Berman of Mother Jones tweeted in response to DeJoy's comments, which came as he attempted to defend the significant decline in Postal Service performance since he took charge last year and implemented major operational changes.
"Biden can appoint 3-4 new USPS board members, giving Dems a majority that can oust DeJoy," Berman noted.
“Get used to me.”
— Postmaster General Louis DeJoy rejects the notion he’s “a political appointee” and plans to stay in his role “for a long time.” pic.twitter.com/VQTEGx07Zu
— The Recount (@therecount) February 24, 2021
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
Never Miss a Beat.
Get our best delivered to your inbox.
"DeJoy is daring Senate Democrats to do something about him," said Robert Cruickshank, campaign director at advocacy group Demand Progress.
Members of the House Oversight Committee—including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Katie Porter, Rashida Tlaib, and other prominent progressives—are set Wednesday morning to question Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and other witnesses on potential legislative changes to the U.S. Postal Service, which has seen its performance fall dramatically since DeJoy took charge of the agency last year.
The hearing, scheduled to begin at 10:00 am ET, comes as President Joe Biden is facing growing calls to pave the way for DeJoy's removal by replacing the entire USPS Board of Governors, which defended the postmaster general last year as he implemented sweeping operational changes that Democratic lawmakers and other critics described as intentional sabotage of the popular government institution.
DeJoy is reportedly planning to roll out an additional slate of policy changes that would further slow mail delivery and hike prices for consumers and businesses.
Also set to testify during Wednesday's hearing are USPS Board of Governors Chair Ron Bloom, Postal Service Inspector General Tammy Whitcomb, American Postal Workers Union president Mark Dimondstein, and others.