September 16, 2014

Senate Group Attacks Postal Service Reforms

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Although Congress has failed for years to pass postal reform legislation, dozens of senators are now trying to block the U.S. Postal Service’s own cost-saving efforts.

Last week the Postal Service reported third-quarter losses of $2 billion, up from $740 million for the same period last year. The service also said would be unable to make a required prefunding payment for retiree health benefits due to the Treasury on Sept. 30.

Yet only days later a bipartisan group of 50 senators released a letter asking Senate appropriators to approve language to prevent the Postal Service from continuing to consolidate its facilities. The language would be included in a continuing resolution to fund the government when the new fiscal year starts Oct. 1.

The senators even criticize previous consolidation efforts by the Postal Service and want to require it to “maintain and comply” with service standards that were in effect in mid-2012.

The senators say their proposed “one-year moratorium” would give Congress “the time it needs to enact the comprehensive postal reforms.”

But as even the letter acknowledges, Congress has already had years to enact such reforms. It has simply failed to do so. It is irresponsible for lawmakers to now cite that failure as they try to stop the Postal Service from doing what it can to hold down its losses.