Three senators are urging the postmaster general to go forward with cost-savings changes before Congress agrees about the details of the plan.
“We believe it is very unlikely that both the House and Senate will come to agreement on legislation that reforms the postal system anytime soon and strongly encourage you to move forward with the cost-saving changes you have previously outlined,” Sens. Bob Corker, John McCain and Tom Corburn said in a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe.
Last December, in response to requests from “multiple U.S. senators,” leaders with the United States Postal Service agreed to delay post office closings or consolidations until May 15.
The Senate has approved the Postal Service reform bill, and now House members are looking at the companion bill.
The USPS is on track to lose $21 billion annually by 2016 without changes to its business model.
USPS officials are supposed to comment about the bill later today.
Full text of the letter:
Dear Postmaster General Donahoe:
Despite the Senate’s passage last week of S. 1789, the 21st Century Postal Service Act of 2012, we believe it is very unlikely that both the House and Senate will come to agreement on legislation that reforms the postal system anytime soon and strongly encourage you to move forward with the cost-saving changes you have previously outlined.
The 21st Century Postal Service Act would create many new mandates that would prevent the U.S. Postal Service from reducing its costs and creating a sustainable business model. Specifically, the legislation would halt many processing facility and post office closures, prevent the USPS from revising its delivery service standards, not allow flexibility in appropriately pricing services, and further delay the transition to five-day delivery. Each of these changes could save the U.S. Postal Service billions of dollars per year. According to the Government Accountability Office, the USPS has projected an annual savings of $4 billion by consolidating its processing and transportation network.
According to your projections, the USPS is on track to lose $21 billion annually by 2016 if it does not change its business model. We understand that even with making tough but essential cost-saving changes today, it will still be a challenge to meet the long-range viability of the Postal Service in the future and avoid bankruptcy. As you said on April 25, ‘If [S. 1789] were to become law, the Postal Service would be back before the Congress within a few years requesting additional legislative reform.’
As senators committed to fiscal responsibility and preventing future taxpayer-funded bailouts, we support your efforts to put the USPS on a sustainable financial path for the future.
Bob Corker, United States Senator
John McCain, United States Senator
Tom Coburn, United States Senator