Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., urged comprehensive reform "before it's too late."

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., urged comprehensive reform "before it's too late." Flickr user Third Way Think Tank

Battle Over Postal-Service Cuts Looms in September

Squabble erupted after USPS announced plans to cut 15,000 jobs and consolidate 82 mail-processing centers in 2015.

The stage is being set this month for another round of argument and angst over the future of the U.S. Postal Service when Congress returns to work in September.

The latest squabble erupted after the USPS, which this summer reported a net loss of $2 billion in the second quarter of 2014, announced plans to cut 15,000 jobs and consolidate 82 mail-processing centers in 2015. The Postal Service has already consolidated 141 mail-processing facilities since 2012.

Last week exactly half the Senate wrote to appropriators urging them to block any more Postal Service cutbacks in legislation to fund the government after Oct. 1, which Congress must enact in September to avoid a shutdown.

On Tuesday, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee responded with a statement saying Congress should instead enact comprehensive postal reforms "before it's too late."

"If my colleagues want to address these concerns for the long-haul, I urge them to join me this September as we continue our efforts to fix the serious, but solvable, financial challenges facing the Postal Service," said Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del.

Carper and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., have been promoting legislation to streamline and modernize the Postal Service and deal with its health care, pension, and other costly issues. But those efforts, including a reform bill that Carper cosponsored with Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., have stalled.

Meanwhile, the USPS continues to drown in red ink, despite an increase in revenue in the quarter ending June 30. A big part of the losses stem from a congressional requirement to prepay billions of dollars into a future retiree health care fund.

Last week's letter signed by 50 senators—led by Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.; and Jon Tester, D-Mont.—called for a one-year moratorium on further cuts to "give Congress the time it needs to enact the comprehensive postal reforms that are necessary for the Postal Service to function effectively in the future." The senators said the planned cuts in 2015 will affect services in 37 states and harm local communities and economies.

"While a number of reform proposals have been introduced in both the Senate and the House to tackle these problems over the past several years, we have yet to enact legislation," the letter said. "In the absence of congressional compromise, the Postal Service has proposed more sweeping changes to its operations."

The 50 senators requested that language be added to must-pass legislation to fund the government into the next fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. The language should block for one year any Postal Service plans to consolidate more mail-processing facilities, the letter said, and should impose a moratorium through fiscal 2015 on any more reductions that would result in slower first-class mail service.

On Tuesday, Carper's frustration spilled out in a written statement.

"If Congress continues to do nothing, we face a future without the valuable services the Postal Service provides. This would be a devastating blow to our economy," Carper warned. But he noted his and Coburn's bill would preserve existing standards, including the 82 mail-processing plants and Saturday mail delivery, "until other reforms have a chance to bear fruit."

"Our bill isn't perfect but it is an important step in the right direction. I hope my colleagues will join our efforts to enhance this plan in order to save the Postal Service before it's too late," Carper said.

(Image via Flickr user Third Way Think Tank)

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.