Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, the volume of mail delivered by the US Postal Service has drastically declined. Businesses have cut back on sending advertisements and bulk mail — the agency’s main source of revenue — leaving it on track to possibly run out of money by September.
To save its services, the agency is asking Congress for $89 billion. Democrats want to meet the USPS’s needs and ensure funding in the next coronavirus relief bill. Republicans, however, are seizing this as an opportunity to privatize the agency, an agenda they’ve been pushing for years. President Donald Trump is also on board, refusing to sign a new bill that includes funding for the postal service.
The president’s disapproval of the agency is well-documented. In the past, he’s pushed for service cuts in the fiscal budget and indicated that he wanted the USPS to raise rates for packages. However, these actions would have dire consequences for Americans, especially those below the poverty line who live in remote areas and rely heavily on the USPS for their mail.
The absence of the USPS would particularly affect indigenous people living in tribal lands, as there are already few resources dedicated to keeping them connected with the world, said Twyla Baker, of the Mandan-Hidatsa tribe in North Dakota.