Wednesday, December 2, 2015
WASHINGTON – Today, a bipartisan group of senators joined the effort to fix the serious, but solvable challenges facing the U.S. Postal Service. Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) joined Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, as sponsors of the Improving Postal Operations, Service, and Transparency Act of 2015 (iPOST), which Sen. Carper introduced in September.
iPOST reflects the views of a broad range of stakeholders and offers a compromise solution to the difficult issues that Congress and the Postal Service have struggled with for years. The bill includes a comprehensive package of reforms that would place the Postal Service on firm financial footing, stabilize and improve service performance, allow for the development of new products and services, and enhance transparency.
“Whether we come from rural, urban, or suburban communities, my colleagues and I all agree that now is the time to act on comprehensive legislation that will stabilize and modernize the U.S. Postal Service,” said Sen. Carper. “I thank Senators Moran, McCaskill, and Blunt for joining me in this effort. I know that their support will help make a great bill even stronger. Our economy still depends on a healthy and robust Postal Service. It’s our duty in Congress to pave a fiscally sustainable path for the agency that will enable this American institution to return to solvency, improve service, and thrive in the digital age. I look forward to continuing to work with Senators Moran, McCaskill, and Blunt, our colleagues in the House and the Senate, Postal Service leadership and employees, stakeholders, and postal customers to refine this legislation and ensure the Postal Service thrives long into the future.”
“The United States Postal Service has long been an important part of American communication and commerce, but its deteriorating financial condition threatens its future,” Sen. Moran said. “We’ve also seen postal service quality across rural America decline as the USPS’ debts and future liabilities rise. Failure to make reforms now will cause the Postal Service’s financial crisis to worsen and increase the cost of any future fix. To protect taxpayers from the costs of a truly bankrupt postal service, Congress must act to put the agency on a path toward solvency. These reforms offer a serious policy framework to return the Postal Service to economic stability and preserve postal services across the country.”
“This bipartisan legislation will help modernize our mail system and more effectively serve the millions of rural folks in Missouri and across the country that rely on the postal service as a source of communications and commerce every day,” Sen. McCaskill said. “Ensuring the Postal Service endures through the 21st century is critical for everyone from the modern entrepreneur to the grandchild placing a card in the mailbox, and I’m proud to help lead this bipartisan effort to sustain it.”
“I have heard from Missourians from all parts of the state that depend on a strong and efficient U.S. Postal Service,” Sen. Blunt said. “This bill will help get the Postal Service on stable financial footing and modernize the post office. I am glad to join my colleagues in support of the iPOST Act.”
The financial condition of the Postal Service has been deteriorating for years, but the 2008 economic downturn and the continuing transition to digital communications and commerce have hastened its downward spiral. The Postal Service currently owes $15 billion and faces tens of billions of dollars more in unfunded pension and health care obligations in the years to come. It ended fiscal year 2015 with a net loss of $5.1 billion and now has a net deficit totaling more than $50 billion. For an institution that operates at the center of a $1 trillion industry that employs more than 7 million people, a financial outlook this bleak is alarming — and shouldn’t be ignored. Without serious, long-term reform, this iconic American institution – enshrined in our Constitution – will take on more and more debt.
For more information, including a section-by-section summary of the bill and bill text, please visit: www.carper.senate.gov/postalreform