“Action speaks louder than words” is an 18th-century idiom that should be the battle cry by which NAPS and others in the postal community evaluate our national legislators. We have the biennial opportunity to hold accountable our national and local leaders for what they have accomplished and what they have failed to accomplish.
There is a very narrow and quickly closing legislative window through which emergency financial relief for the Postal Service can be pursued. Earlier this year, outgoing Postmaster General Megan Brennan alerted Congress of the cataclysmic impact that COVID-19 has had on postal finances. She projected the pandemic would drive down postal revenue by $13 billion for the current fiscal year.
In late March, the Postal Board of Governors passed a resolution requesting that Congress pass and the president sign into law emergency postal appropriations, relief from past postal debt and an increased credit line from the U.S. Treasury. As a revised version of this proposal was being considered by the Senate, the White House rejected any postal aid.
The “compromise” embedded in the eventual March COVID-19 relief package (H.R. 748), which was signed into law, included an increased $10 billion credit line on the condition the Postal Service would abide by conditions to be dictated by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. One of the conditions was reported to be a 400% increase in postage for postal products competing with UPS products.