Senator Carper Highlights the Importance of Upholding Trust in the Reliability of the USPS

Today at the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Hearing “Oversight of the U.S. Postal Service,” U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) highlighted the importance of maintaining trust in the reliability of delivery services provided by the United States Postal Service (USPS). Senator Carper, a senior member of the Committee, noted that while action is needed to improve the USPS’ financial outlook, it should not come at the cost of delivery performance or further deteriorate customer service.

Senator Carper shared why he holds a longstanding interest in improving the USPS:

“People ask me why I have been so interested in the postal service. It actually goes back to the Vietnam War, when a lot of folks in my generation were serving in southeast Asia. [… During that time,] once a week, the mail came. It was the best day of the week. […] And for veterans who have served in war, you know how important is to stay in touch with your family and friends back home. The Postal Service did a great job [during my time in the Navy, and] I want to make sure the Postal Service has what it needs to continue to do a good job. Not just for people in war […], but right here at home in all 50 states.”

Senator Carper then highlighted recent efforts to improve USPS employee health benefits, underscoring his longtime support for the agency’s employees and retirees:

“The bipartisan Postal Service Reform Act […] provided nearly $50 billion in financial relief for the Postal Service. [… This legislation] put the Postal Service on a more solid financial foundation and ensures that it can fulfill its vital role for generations to come.  Staring this year, the Postal Service and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) are launching the new Postal Service Health Benefits Program for postal employees, postal retirees and for their families, which will help people integrate their health care with Medicare. It will be a significant feat for the Postal Service and for OPM to implement this new program.”

Senator Carper also emphasized the need for the USPS to modernize in order to compete with the private sector:

“It’s evident that the Postal Service must adapt to shifting consumer preferences to ensure its financial sustainability and its ability to compete with the private sector. The Postal Service has always worked with the private sector companies in order to prepare mail and packages. While the Postal Service has historically excelled at last-mile delivery, private sector competitors are continuing to expand, they’re continuing to innovate, and in many ways [they] have outperformed the Postal Service in getting mail and packages to customers efficiently and at lower costs.”

A video of Senator Carper’s questions at today’s hearing can be found here