The Postal Service’s financial report for the first quarter of fiscal 2020 underlines the need for congressional action on common-sense legislative reform. The first step toward such reform is the USPS Fairness Act, which a large bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives voted for earlier this week.
The entire first quarter loss—$748 million—stems from the unfair obligation placed on the Postal Service by Congress in 2006 to pre-fund future retiree health benefits decades in advance. That mandate cost the Postal Service $1.2 billion in the first three months of the fiscal year.
This mandate, which no other public agency or private company in the country faces, imposes a crushing financial burden on the Postal Service. It accounts for most of the Postal Service’s losses over the past decade, creating an artificial financial “crisis” that threatens services and prevents needed investments.
The bill passed by the House on Feb. 5 (H.R. 2382) would repeal the mandate. NALC calls on the Senate to quickly pass its version of the same legislation (S. 2965) to remove this onerous obligation on America’s Postal Service. This would set the table for other consensus reforms and allow the Postal Service to continue to provide the American people and their businesses with the industrial world’s most-affordable delivery network.
The USPS, which receives no taxpayer money and funds itself through earned revenue, is rated by the public as the most-trusted federal agency and enjoys strong political support from both sides of the aisle.