The time has come for Congress to step up and put the Postal Service back on the road to financial stability. Although the Senate passed a comprehensive postal reform measure in April of this year, the House has not yet voted on a postal reform package. Our senators and representatives will meet in “lame duck” session starting this week to address a number of urgent matters.
One of the items on their list should be returning the Postal Service to long-term financial stability.
Retiree Healthcare Funding and Borrowing Limit Are Key Concerns
At its Board of Governors meeting to be held later this week, the Postal Service will release its financial results for Fiscal Year 2012, which ended on September 30. It is expected to announce a loss approaching $15 billion, of which $11.1 billion reflects unnecessary retiree healthcare prepayments.
In addition, the Postal Service in September reached its $15 billion borrowing limit from the U.S. Treasury for the first time in its history, meaning it will have to rely solely on revenues – with no margin for error – to fund its operations.
Last February, the Postal Service published a five year road map to achieve financial stability. While USPS management continues to move forward with those elements of the plan it controls, such as offering early retirement incentives to reduce its workforce while avoiding involuntary reductions in force and consolidating postal plants to achieve greater operating efficiencies, it needs the support of Congress to fully enact this plan.
Congress Must Act
The Postal Service is at the center of an industry that employs more than eight million people and generates almost $1 trillion in economic value. It is unacceptable for Congress to put this economic engine in jeopardy by waiting for the Postal Service to reach a financial crisis before acting on the need for reform. The time to act on postal reform is now.
You can learn more about the Postal Service’s financial situation, and other important matters regarding the USPS in our most recent edition of Postal Issues Update.