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Senate Republicans block common sense, bipartisan amendment that would protect small businesses, rural communities and American taxpayers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), a senior member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), took to the Senate floor yesterday to admonish the Trump Administration’s foolish efforts to privatize the United States Postal Service (USPS).

As the Senate debates an annual spending package, Senator Carper joined his colleagues, Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) to file an amendment that would ensure that no federal funds can be used to privatize the Postal Service – a move that would be a disaster for American consumers and small businesses, especially those in rural communities. It would also prevent the erosion of the Universal Service Obligation – the standard that ensures every American has equal access to the mail – regardless of their zip code. Senator Carper blasted Senate Republicans for refusing to even allow a vote on this common sense and bipartisan amendment.

“This amendment is straightforward, bipartisan and a win for American consumers, especially those who live in rural parts of the country. Those who would be hit the hardest certainly should not have to have their tax dollars used to fund privatization schemes. This should be one of the easiest votes my colleagues take all week. But Republican leadership is refusing to even let us vote on this amendment – and it’s because they know it would pass,” said Senator Carper, a longtime champion of much-needed Postal Service reforms. 

He continued, “We also know that privatizing the Postal Service would be a disaster for taxpayers and a devastating blow to our economy, which is why such schemes are overwhelmingly opposed by stakeholders across the board – industry, small businesses, unions and the American people. Since the very founding of our country and the creation of the Post Office, we have maintained that every American should have equal access to the mail – regardless of where they live. If the Postal Service is privatized, that will no longer be a promise we can keep to millions of Americans who live outside of urban centers. For any colleague of mine who wants to help rural communities, wants to protect the rights of American consumers and wants to bolster our economy, supporting this amendment should be a no-brainer. 

The Trump Administration’s recently released government reorganization proposal includes a recommendation to privatize the Postal Service, despite the overwhelming opposition that privatization efforts face from all key stakeholders.

Misguided privatization schemes would be a devastating blow to the trillion-dollar mailing industry and could put more than eight million American jobs in jeopardy – not just jobs in the Postal Service, but jobs across the American economy. It would also threaten the delivery of mail for small and rural communities where delivery is not profitable, as well as the package industry, on which millions of small businesses across the country rely.  

Earlier this year, Senator Carper introduced the Postal Service Reform Act of 2018: Improving Postal Operations, Service, and Transparency to stabilize, preserve and improve the Postal Service in an effort to protect this essential part of our nation’s infrastructure and economy. Senator Carper also filed his comprehensive package as an amendment to the spending package currently being debated in the Senate, but Republican leadership similarly blocked a vote on that legislation today.