White House rejects emergency funding for USPS
- By FederalSoup Staff
- Apr 13, 2020
President Donald Trump has threatened to veto any stimulus funding bill that includes money to prop up the finances of the U.S. Postal Service, according to a report in the Washington Post.
The $2 trillion CARES Act originally contained a $13 billion grant to Postal Service, but that effort “was blocked by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who warned such a move could blow up the relief bill. A committee aide said Mnuchin told lawmakers during negotiations: ‘You can have a loan, or you can have nothing at all,’ the Post reported.
The final CARES Act contained a $10 billion loan to the Postal Service, but it’s unlikely that sum will provide enough help.
”We now estimate that the COVID-19 pandemic will increase the Postal Service’s net operating loss by more than $22 billion dollars over the next eighteen months, and by over $54 billion dollars over the longer term, threatening our ability to operate.” Postmaster General Megan Brennan said.
Several House members leaders have called on congressional leaders to include funding for USPS in future stimulus packages. In an April 6 letter, they urged leadership to include $25 billion in direct appropriations and debt relief, appropriate up to $250 million per year to cover unfunded mandates, require that postal employees enroll in Medicare and allow the Postal Service to conduct more non-postal business, particularly with state and local governments.
USPS, which employs about 630,000 workers, has seen decades of tough times turn sharply worse as the coronavirus pandemic has slowed the volume of profitable first-class mail. Trump has consistently been opposed to any support for USPS, claiming that if it charged Federal Express, Amazon and UPS more for last-mile deliveries, it could support itself.