Sen. Carper Introduces Bill To Ease Financial Strain On The Post Office
WASHINGTON – Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) today introduced legislation to help address the dire financial situation facing the United States Postal Service.
Sen. Carper, as chairman of the Senate subcommittee that oversees the postal service, has been closely monitoring its deteriorating financial condition and has been seeking way to keep the mail flowing.
“The economic slowdown and the ever-growing electronic diversion of the mail have put a serious strain on our nation’s Postal Service,” said Sen. Carper. “We in Congress must provide some way to help preserve the vital services post offices provide for American families and businesses.”
Recently, Postmaster General Jack Potter and Postal Service Board of Governors Chairman Carolyn Gallagher notified Congress and officials at the Treasury Department that the Postal Service will not make its $5.4 billion retiree health, pre-funding payment by September 30, as required by law.
That is why Sen. Carper introduced his “Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Funding Reform Act of 2009” to restructure the postal service’s retiree health payment schedule to produce significant cost savings over the next several years. The Carper bill also gives the postal service more borrowing authority to meet its financial obligations and get through this current fiscal year and next.
“This bill will put the Postal Service on more sound financial footing as we approach the crucial holiday shopping season. I am confident that with the changes called for in my bill, the Postal Service can continue to provide the quality service we all depend on,” said Sen. Carper. “But this bill is not a silver bullet that will fix everything wrong with the Postal Service. Its management also needs to find ways to attract new business and further streamline operations. And, Congress and postal employees need to continue to work closely with management to keep the Postal Service running smoothly and reliably.”
The Postal Service expects mail volume to be roughly 175 billion pieces this fiscal year, a decline of 38 billion pieces since 2007. The Postal Service is also projecting a loss of $7.1 billion in FY2009 despite its success in working toward $6.1 billion in cost cutting in one year.
Sen. Carper hopes this bill will be enacted into law before Congress adjourns in August.