Government affairs

Legislative Updates

Senate committee advances BOG nomination of John Barger

Today, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) held a mark-up on several bills and nominations. 

Of particular note, the Committee advanced via voice vote the nomination of John McLeod Barger of California to be a governor of the United States Postal Service for a term expiring Dec. 8, 2021. 

Barger, who is an attorney, testified last week in front of the Committee to share his views on Postal Service operations, finances and the workforce. He highlighted challenges facing the agency such as technology and innovation, and the decline of first-class mail. In his testimony, Barger cited using the Postal Service’s infrastructure to meet its financial obligations. 

“The Postal Service already has assets that will help it meet this challenge,” Barger said while testifying. “One part of the solution will be to  find ways to take advantage of the unique and significant network in place today, which connects with practically every American in this great nation. Building on this, it will need to understand customer needs, competitive forces, supply-demand dynamics, and the latest technological developments. If done successfully, the Postal Service’s core business model should be sufficiently viable to provide for the obligations and commitments of the USPS employees and retirees, without drawing on direct taxpayer assistance.” 

Barger also testified that his seven years of experience as a director on the Investment and Retirement Boards of the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association (LACERA), the country’s largest pension fund with $60 billion for 160,000 active and retired Los Angeles County employees, demonstrates his “successful collaboration and consensus building among directors from labor, government, and the private sector.” 

Unfortunately, the hearing provided little insight on his direct experience working with unions and employee representatives. 

Currently, the BOG has two governors—one from each party. If confirmed, Barger, a Republican nominee, would add imbalance to the Board that still needs six governors. In addition, the nominations of Ron Bloom (D) and Roman Martinez (R), who advanced the Committee in May, are still pending. NALC will continue to work with the Senate to ensure that there is balance on the Board of Governors.

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