Like many businesses and industries across the globe, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has experienced sharp declines in demand since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. With an expected $13 billion in lost revenue, Postmaster General Megan Brennan warned Congress the agency would run out of money by September without federal assistance. In response, the Trump administration declared they will not sign any legislation assisting the USPS, hoping to further a long-term goal of Republicans to privatize the agency.
In 2006, Republicans passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act requiring the agency to pre-fund retirement health care costs for 75 years into the future. This move, an attempt to squeeze the USPS into privatization, placed a burden applied to no other federal agency.
According to the Institute for Policy Studies, “If the costs of this retiree health care mandate were removed from the USPS financial statements, the Post Office would have reported operating profits in each of the last six years.” In order to address this onerous requirement, the House passed the USPS Fairness Act (HR 2382) in early February which would repeal the pre-pay requirement, however the Senate has yet to take up their companion legislation (S. 2965).
Beyond being a critical part of public infrastructure, the USPS employees over 100,000 veterans, with former military members accounting for over 18% of the workforce. Demand your members of Congress not only pass HR 2382, but also fully fund the USPS in the next stimulus package to keep the agency solvent.