Americans get behind the Postal Service
- By FederalSoup Staff
- May 04, 2020
Americans overwhelmingly support the U.S. Postal Service, with 94% of registered voters contacted for a recent survey saying that mail and package service is important during this time.
The poll was conducted by North Star Opinion Research and Hart Research Associates, two leading Republican and Democratic public opinion firms on behalf of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC). It polled 804 registered voters nationwide to explore what voters think about postal services today and to measure support for Congress providing financial support to USPS, Hart Research said.
Specifically, 95% of respondents said the Postal Service’s role in delivering official government recommendations, supplies, medications and test kits related to COVID-19 are important to them, and 92% said they would favor Congress appropriating funds to support Postal Service operations through the coronavirus crisis in the next round of financial relief legislation. Only 30% of respondents favored increasing USPS’ additional borrowing authority, a plan that would increase the agency’s debt and create more issues for Congress to consider, the NALC said.
The administration’s allocation of relief funds for USPS illustrates its tepid support for the agency. The $2 trillion CARES Act originally included a $13 billion grant to Postal Service, but the final version contained a $10 billion loan. Additionally, President Donald Trump has threatened to veto any additional stimulus coronavirus relief package that includes aid to the Postal Service unless it dramatically increases its prices.
“The post office, if they raised the price of a package by approximately four times, it would be a whole new ballgame,” the president said during the April 24 signing ceremony for the second coronavirus relief package, according to a Politico report.
“As letter carriers know, the conversation about Postal Service finances is nothing new,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “Unfortunately, this pandemic continues to cripple the economy resulting in sharp declines in revenue for the Postal Service, which is expected to run out of money in September if Congress and the White House fail to intervene,” he said. “Thankfully, voters not only understand the peril, but also believe we must fund the agency.”
Another survey, conducted by YouGov on behalf of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), also shows overwhelming public support for funding for the Postal Service in the next stimulus bill to prevent it from running out of cash. In a poll of 1,269 adults, conducted the week of April 21-22, 67% said they believe Congress should fund the Postal Service in the next coronavirus stimulus bill, with only 15% opposing.
“This new poll shows the appreciation that the public has for our work,” APWU President Mark Dimondstein said. “During this pandemic, postal workers have shown strength and commitment, as they process and deliver needed medicine, supplies and information to a public who are confined to their homes.”
USPS estimates the COVID-19 pandemic will increase its net operating loss by more than $22 billion over the next eighteen months, and by over $54 billion over the longer term, Postmaster General Megan Brennan said.