WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held the hearing, “Nomination of the Honorable Jeffrey A. Rosen to be a Governor, U.S. Postal Service.” Below is the opening statement of Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-Del.), as prepared for delivery:
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for moving quickly to schedule today’s hearing to consider this important nomination to fill one of the many unfortunate vacancies on the Postal Service’s Board of Governors. We’re considering Mr. Rosen’s nomination at what is a very challenging time for the Postal Service. Albert Einstein said, ‘in adversity, lies opportunity,’ but we need strong leadership on the Board if the Postal Service is going to take full advantage of the opportunities it has before it.
“The Postal Service operates at the center of a massive $1.4 trillion printing, delivery, and logistics industry that employs nearly 8 million people. Even as First Class mail is lost to other forms of communication, the future is promising for the Postal Service in a number of other ways. Advertising mail is still a popular and effective option for mailers. Millions of people still look forward to receiving a wide range of magazines in the mail every week. And E-commerce and package delivery are booming, making the Postal Service a vital partner for businesses large and small. Even the Postal Service’s traditional competitors rely on it to carry items the last mile to rural communities around the country.
“I look forward to talking to Mr. Rosen today about what he thinks can be done to address the ongoing challenges facing the Postal Service and to hear about the skills, the knowledge and experience that he would bring to the Board. As a leader in both the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Transportation during the Bush Administration, Mr. Rosen will bring a unique policy and management perspective to the Board of Governors.
“If reported out of this Committee, Mr. Rosen will join the five other Postal Board of Governors nominees pending before the Senate, all of which have been held up for more than a year. Some of them have even been waiting for confirmation since the last Congress. As a result, the Postal Service is currently down to one sitting Senate-confirmed Governor overseeing Postal Service operations. One! This situation is worse than unacceptable. I believe it’s shameful. I can’t imagine something like this ever occurring in the private sector because shareholders would demand oversight from a strong board to protect their investment. Congress needs to do its job and protect postal customers, as well as the investments of American taxpayers, by filling these positions.
“I believe we have a real opportunity here to inject some badly-needed talent into the Postal Service at a time when the agency, given the vacancies on the Board, the loss of the most recent Inspector General to retirement, and the challenges the Postal Service is facing, is in grave need of independent oversight and direction. If we confirm all six of the pending nominees, we will make significant progress towards stabilizing and strengthening our Postal Service.
“In closing, I would like to thank Mr. Rosen for agreeing to take on the position for which he has been nominated. I would also like to thank his wife Kathleen, and their children for all of their support and their willingness to share him with us for what will be a tough assignment, if he’s confirmed. We welcome you here today.”