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The postmaster general is the second-highest-paid federal employee — and other weird facts about the USPS leader


A USPS logo is seen on a mailboxA USPS logo is seen on a mailbox

Photo by John Smith/VIEWpress via Getty Images

  • The postmaster general is one of the highest-paid positions in the federal government. 
  • The role oversees the operations of the US Postal Service and is its chief executive officer.  
  • Here are interesting facts about the role and its storied history, beginning in 1775. 
The postmaster general serves as CEO of the United States Postal Service, overseeing all operations and ensuring it can “fulfill its public service mission and maintain financial sustainability well into the future.”USPSStacks of boxes holding cards and letters are seen at a US Post Office sort center on December 15, 2008 in San Francisco, California.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Source: USPS

The position has a storied history, beginning with Benjamin Franklin in 1775. Franklin served as the country’s first postmaster general after he was appointed by the Continental Congress.Benjamin FranklinA statue of Benjamin Franklin.

Tetra Images/Getty Images

Source: USPS

The position existed even before the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the US Constitution in 1789.Declaration of Independence

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Over the next two centuries, the role gained significant power within the federal government. In 1828, President Andrew Jackson made it part of the Cabinet, placing the role in line for succession.Andrew Jackson portrait on twenty dollar bill.Andrew Jackson portrait on twenty dollar bill.

Elizabeth Fernandez/Getty Images

Jackson also started the practice of replacing postal workers, which at the time comprised a vast amount of government jobs, with party loyalists. This continued until President Richard Nixon halted such efforts in 1969.

Source: Reader’s Digest 

In 1971, USPS officially was formed as an independent agency within the executive branch, part of a reorganization of the centuries-old Post Office Department. As part of this shift, the postmaster general was pulled from the Cabinet.USPSThe states say the $11.3 billion plan fails on environmental standards laid out by the EPA

AP

Source: USPS, Reader’s Digest 

 

The postmaster general is now elected by the USPS Board of Governors, an 11-person group selected by the president and advised by the Senate.USPS

Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

But just because the postmaster general is no longer part of the Cabinet, doesn’t mean the position doesn’t still hold significant power and gravitas.uspsA United States Postal Service (USPS) mail box stands in Manhattan on August 05, 2020 in New York City.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The position of postmaster general is currently held by Louis DeJoy, appointed by the USPS Board of Governors under former President Donald Trump in 2020.Louis DeJoyU.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies before a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on slowdowns at the Postal Service ahead of the November elections on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., August 24, 2020

Tom Williams/Pool via REUTERS

Today, the postmaster general is the second-highest-paid federal government employee after the president. In 2021, DeJoy made a base salary of $305,681, which along with performance bonuses, totaled $480,985, according to USPS data.Louis DeJoyUnited States Postal Service Postmaster General Louis DeJoy speaks during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, in Washington

Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP

Source: USPS 10-K Report, The Center for Public Integrity 

By comparison, President Joe Biden’s base salary is $400,000, while Vice President Kamala Harris’s is $235,100.Joe Biden, Kamala HarrisPresident Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Source: Insider

DeJoy’s 2021 salary drew criticism from some, amid internal turmoil at the organization in 2020 due to policy adjustments and cost-cutting efforts that slowed mail service.A USPS logo is seen on a mailboxA USPS logo is seen on a mailbox

Photo by John Smith/VIEWpress via Getty Images

Source: Associated Press

DeJoy also faced criticism from the Biden administration and the Environmental Protection Agency for ignoring requests to electrify the USPS fleet.USPSA USPS mail worker wearing a mask wheels a priority mail and Amazon package near a USPS truck as the city continues Phase 4 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus on August 20, 2020 in New York City.

Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Source: The New York Times

Ultimately, Biden does not have the authority to remove DeJoy, though he did make appointments for vacancies to the USPS Board of Governors shortly after he was elected.U.S. Capitol buildingPersonal information of hundreds of House members and staff was stolen due to a recent data breach.

Getty Images

Source: CNN

DeJoy has no plans to resign, telling CNN in 2021 that he intends to stay in the role “a long time, get used to me.”Louis DeJoy

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images/Pool

Read the original article on Business Insider