Ongoing USPS losses spark call for reform
- By FederalSoup Staff
- May 11, 2016
A stalwart advocate for postal reform in the Senate sounded a warning in the wake of the U.S. Postal Service’s announcement that it had experienced a $2 billion net loss in the second fiscal quarter.
Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, noted that even as the requirement to prefund retiree health care costs continues to drain the agency’s coffers, the situation will grow even worse with the expiration last month of an emergency rate surcharge put in place to offset losses resulting from the Great Recession.
“Despite a rise in revenue and shipping volume, the Postal Service is, yet again, reporting significant losses,” Carper said in a statement May 10. “The agency’s latest financial report reiterates a hard truth: Due to long-term financial challenges and constraints placed on it by Congress, the Postal Service is unable to raise enough revenue to cover its costs and continues to suffer unsustainable losses that threaten its long-term viability. Without a legislative fix, these losses will inevitably get worse, especially after the Postal Service was forced to lower rates last month for the first time in nearly a century.”
Carper urged lawmakers to take up bipartisan reform legislation he introduced last year—the Improving Postal Operations, Service, and Transparency Act—which he said would address USPS’s financial ills, improve service performance, permit the development of new products and services, and enhance transparency.
“Inaction is no longer an option,” Carper said. “Congress must face reality and work quickly to stabilize this lynchpin of a $1.4 trillion mailing industry that employs more than 7 million Americans. We must finally tackle the tough issues in order to ensure that this critical institution is competitive and solvent for years to come.”