AuthorLueders, Bill
PositionCongress introduced the Delivering Envelopes Judiciously On-time Year-round Act that would prohibit the Postal Service from increasing expected delivery times

Problem: Declining service standards are undercutting public trust.

Over the past several years, explains the National Association of Letter Carriers, the Postal Service has "proposed and implemented service standard reductions resulting in the elimination of overnight mail delivery, delayed mail processing due to the closure and consolidation of hundreds of processing plants, and reduced hours at thousands of post offices." As a result, public confidence in the U.S. Postal Service has fallen.

What can be done: House Resolution 119 directs the Postal Service to "restore mail delivery service standards to those of July 1, 2012." The resolution notes that, on January 5, 2015, the United States Postal Service implemented lower "service standards" to virtually eliminate overnight delivery of first class mail and periodicals. As of mid-May, the resolution had eighty-eight cosponsors, including fifteen Republicans.

Problem: The Postal Service is losing money and is in debt.

The agency has lost $87 billion over the last fourteen years, and expects to lose another $9.7 billion in fiscal year 2021, due to declining mail volume and rising costs. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who has proposed changes he says will save $160 billion over the next ten years, told a Congressional committee in February that the Postal Service is "on a death spiral."

What can be done: The Postal Service should be able to branch out into other services, including a revival of postal banking, which a 2014 Inspector General's Office report estimated could generate nearly $9 billion annually in new revenue. A rule change could allow postal workers to deliver beer and wine--which the Congressional Budget Office found could generate $50 million a year--and even groceries. And the Postal Service could be treated as a service, like the military, and not be expected to pay all of its own costs.

Problem: Health retirement benefit mandate has caused fiscal distress.

In 2006, the Postal Service was given a unique mandate to fund retiree health benefits decades into the future. The letter carriers union says this "has cost an average of $5.2 billion annually since 2007 and is responsible for 84 percent of Postal Service losses over the last...

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