Former Obama official named U.S. Postal Service board chair

File photo of Ron Bloom, President Obama's top manufacturing adviser, speaking about the U.S. auto industry from the White House in Washington
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By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A former official during the Obama administration was named on Tuesday as the new chairman of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) board of governors as Democratic lawmakers press for changes.

Ron Bloom, who has been on the board since 2019 and served as a senior Treasury Department official overseeing the restructuring of General Motors and Chrysler, was unanimously elected by the board.

Service changes made by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a supporter of then President Donald Trump, came under heavy criticism for delaying deliveries, prompting DeJoy in August to suspend operational changes ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

Bloom said Tuesday the board was working on "a bold and comprehensive plan ... to revitalize the United States Postal Service."

He added it "will further imbed the Postal Service as a vital part of our Government’s critical national infrastructure."

At least two Democratic lawmakers want President Joe Biden to fire the entire postal board. There are three current vacancies on the nine-member board.

A White House official said "President Biden’s focus is on filling these vacancies, nominating officials who reflect his commitment to the workers of the US Postal Service – who deliver on the post office’s vital universal service obligation."

American Postal Workers Union President Mark Dimondstein said Tuesday it "is imperative that the Biden administration fill these openings promptly so that we can right this ship that has gone off course. Mail is not moving as it should."

Under court oversight, USPS delivered and processed more than 135 million blank and completed ballots and said 99.89% were delivered to officials within a week.

USPS Tuesday reported $318 million of income for the quarter ending Dec. 31, delivering a record 1.1 billion holiday season packages even as first-class mail revenue decreased by $177 million, or 2.7%.

Shipping and packages revenue increased by $2.8 billion, or 42.1%, on a volume increase of 435 million pieces, or 25%.

The Postal Service reported quarterly total revenue of $21.5 billion, an increase of $2.1 billion, or 11.1%, compared to the same quarter in 2019.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Mark Potter and Stephen Coates)

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